Member summary

James C. Hathaway

James C. Hathaway, the James E. and Sarah A. Degan Professor of Law and Director of the Program in Refugee and Asylum Law at the University of Michigan since 1998, is a leading authority on international refugee law whose work is regularly cited by the most senior courts of the common law world. He is also Distinguished Visiting Professor of International Refugee Law at the University of Amsterdam and Professorial Fellow of the University of Melbourne. From 2008 until 2010 Hathaway was on leave from the University of Michigan to serve as the Dean of Law and William Hearn Professor of Law at the University of Melbourne, where he established Australia’s first all-graduate legal education program. He previously held positions as Professor of Law and Associate Dean of the Osgoode Hall Law School, Canada (1984-1998), Counsel on Special Legal Assistance for the Disadvantaged to the Government of Canada (1983-1984), and Professeur adjoint de droit at the Université de Moncton, Canada (1980-1983). He has been appointed a visiting professor at the American University in Cairo, and at the Universities of California, Macerata, Tokyo, and Toronto. Hathaway’s publications include more than seventy journal articles, a leading treatise on the refugee definition (The Law of Refugee Status, 1991, republished in both Japanese and Russian), an interdisciplinary study of models for refugee law reform (Reconceiving International Refugee Law, 1997) and, most recently, The Rights of Refugees under International Law (2005) – the first comprehensive analysis of the human rights of refugees set by the UN Refugee Convention. He is Counsel on International Protection to the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants and Founding Patron and Honorary Director of Asylum Access, a non-profit organization committed to delivering innovative legal aid to refugees in the global South. Hathaway also sits on the editorial boards of the Journal of Refugee Studies and the Immigration and Nationality Law Reports and directs the Refugee Caselaw Site (, a website that collects, indexes, and publishes leading judgments on refugee law. Professor Hathaway regularly advises and provides training on refugee law to academic, non-governmental, and official audiences around the world.

James C. Hathaway website

Maureen Lynch

Maureen Lynch is an independent humanitarian advocate and researcher based in Washington, DC.  She is a member of the International Observatory on Statelessness at Kingston University in London.  Previously Maureen was the Senior Advocate for Statelessness Initiatives at Refugees International where much of her work was based on her 2005 report Lives on Hold:  The Human Cost of Statelessness and RI’s 2009 report Nationality Rights for All:  Progress Report and Global Survey on Statelessness. During her tenure at RI, she undertook humanitarian assessment missions to more than 25 countries including Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Cote d’ Ivoire, Haiti, Ingushetia, Kosovo, Kuwait, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Syria, and Zimbabwe. Prior to RI, Maureen worked for UNHCR.  Maureen is co-editor of Statelessness and Citizenship: A Comparative Study on the Benefits of Nationality. She has written and presented on issues including refugees, IDPs, stateless persons, immigration, human rights, psychology, child development, and family studies.

Open Society Justice Initiative

The Open Society Justice Initiative uses law to protect and empower people around the world. Through litigation, advocacy, research, and technical assistance, the Justice Initiative promotes human rights and builds legal capacity for open societies. The Justice Initiative fosters accountability for international crimes, combat racial discrimination and statelessness, support criminal justice reform, address abuses related to national security and counterterrorism, expand freedom of information and expression, and stem corruption linked to the exploitation of natural resources.

Open Society Justice Initiative website

Zsolt Bobis

Zsolt Bobis is a Program Coordinator with the Open Society Justice Initiative. He holds MA degrees in American Studies, English Language and Literature, Teacher Training earned at Eötvös Loránd University, and in Human Rights from Central European University. He worked for a year at the Hungarian Human Rights Foundation’s New York office in the framework of The Hungarian American Enterprise Scholarship Fund's Professional Internship Program before joining the Open Society Justice Initiative, initially as a legal intern working on freedom of information/expression and community empowerment clinics in 2011.

Zsolt Bobis website