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Conversation with James Hathaway on International Refugee Law Challenges

The UCT Refugee Rights Unit hosts refugee scholar Professor James Hathaway

In the afternoon on 29 April 2019 renowned refugee law scholar and University of Michigan Law School Professor James Hathaway sat down for a Conversation on Refugee Law Challenges in Cape Town with the UNHCR, members of the South African judiciary and Refugee Appeal Board, academics, refugee lawyers, and civil society. UCT Law Faculty Dean Danwood Chirwa warmly welcomed our guest Professor Hathaway and attendees before taking his seat in the Oliver Tambo Moot Court Room at the Kramer Law Building. Advocate Lee Anne de la Hunt then led the conversation with Hathaway, starting the discussion locally, with the proposed legislative changes in South Africa. After Hathaway highlighted which changes were easily in breach of international refugee law, and which were not, the floor opened up to all the participants. Dean Chirwa asked the first question, and, after UCT Associate Professor and Refugee Rights Unit Director Fatima Khan followed up, hands flew up and continued to do so. Several times, attendees responded to a comment or question before Hathaway weighed in, creating the feel of a true conversation. The last third of the event focused on global solutions and both responsibility and burden sharing. The Global Compact was mentioned, and Hathaway outlined his alternative to it – though a more thorough discussion can be found in Hathaway’s International Journal of Refugee Law article, The Global Cop-Out on Refugees.



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