Global authority on asylum law to speak at Glasgow conference


Media Release

For immediate release

September 18th, 2009


Global authority on asylum law to speak at Glasgow conference

Professor Hathaway’s visit “an enormous coup”


One of the world's leading authorities on the law affecting refugees has agreed to speak at a major conference in Glasgow next month.

Professor James Hathaway of the University of Melbourne Law School will present a seminar on The Law of Refugee Status on October 5.

The event will be chaired by Mungo Deans, Regional Senior Immigration Judge for Scotland and Northern Ireland and will be held at the Royal Faculty of Procurators building in Nelson Mandela Place.

The seminar is being organised by the Glasgow Immigration Practitioners' Group, the Scottish Refugee Counsel, Glasgow University Law School and the Murray Stable at the Faculty of Advocates.

Joe Bryce, an immigration law specialist with the Murray Stable, described Professor Hathaway as a dazzling speaker and said that the Professor enjoyed “quasi-divine status” with asylum lawyers.

To be able to bring him to Glasgow was “an enormous coup” for all involved in the process of asylum in the UK.

Professor Hathaway's book The Law of Refugee Status is regarded as the leading textbook in this area of law.

He was appointed Dean and William Hearn Chair of the University of Melbourne Law School in 2008. Before that Professor Hathaway was Professor of law and Director of the Program in Refugee and Asylum Law at the University of Michigan Law School.

His work is regularly cited in court cases around the world and he has been cited as an authority in at least 180 cases.





Notes to Editors




  • A person is defined as an asylum seeker whilst they go through the process of claiming asylum. Under the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights everyone has the right to seek asylum from persecution in a safe country. On applying for asylum, a person’s claim is assessed by the UK Home Office against the 1951 UN Refugee Convention. If their claim is successful they are recognised officially as a refugee. 


  • The UK hosts only two per cent of the world’s refugee population. The majority of the world’s refugees are taken care of by the poorest countries, such as Iran and Pakistan. There are currently two million Iraqi refugees in Syria and Jordan.


  • For the latest UK asylum statistics, visit


  • For interviews with Professor James Hathaway contact Karin Goodwin or Clare Harris on 0141 223 7927/07734 030 763