Jane McAdam

Visiting Professor of Law

Fall 2019

Biography

Jane McAdam is Scientia Professor of Law and Director of the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at UNSW. She is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, a Research Associate at Oxford University’s Refugee Studies Centre, an Associated Senior Fellow at the Fridtjof Nansen Institute in Norway, a Senior Research Associate of the Refugee Law Initiative in London, and was a non-resident Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy at The Brookings Institution, Washington DC from 2012–16. Professor McAdam is a Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School in fall 2019 and a Global Professor of Law at NYU in fall 2020.

Professor McAdam has a doctorate in law from the University of Oxford, and first class honours degrees in law and history from the University of Sydney. She publishes widely in international refugee law and forced migration, with a particular focus on climate change, disasters and displacement. She has special expertise on cross-border relocations, especially in the Pacific, and a keen interest in the global history of refugee and migration law. Her research has been supported by a number of prestigious Australian Research Council grants, including a prestigious Future Fellowship (2012–15). She has published 11 books, over 60 peer-reviewed scholarly articles, and hundreds of other publications, presentations and parliamentary submissions. She is Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Refugee Law, the leading journal in the field.

Professor McAdam serves on a number of international committees, including the International Law Association’s Committee on International Law and Sea-Level Rise (as Co-Rapporteur until 2018); a member of the Advisory Committee of the Platform on Disaster Displacement; and a member of the Advisory Council of the Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion. She has been an expert advisor to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Organization for Migration, and the World Bank’s Thematic Working Group on Environmental Change and Migration. From 2016–17, she led UNSW's Grand Challenge on Refugees & Migrants.

In 2013, Professor McAdam was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. In 2015, she was honoured as one of Australia’s top 10 Women of Influence, winning the ‘global’ category of the Australian Financial Review and Westpac’s 100 Women of Influence awards. In 2017, she received the prestigious international Calouste Gulbenkian Prize for Human Rights for her work on refugees and forced migration, becoming the first Australian recipient of the award. She was also one of four finalists for the NSW Premier’s Award for Woman of the Year in 2017.

Jane McAdam & Fiona Chong, Refugee Rights and Policy Wrongs: A Frank, Up-to-Date Guide by Experts (2019).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Refugee & Asylum Law
,
Human Rights Law
Type: Book
Abstract
Most of us cannot imagine how intolerable the circumstances must be when risking your life on a dangerous boat journey becomes a rational decision. The only reason you would do it is because you have no choice – because to stay at home is to face certain death. Official statistics show that the vast majority of people who arrive in Australia by boat are found to be in need of protection – because they have a well-founded fear of persecution or they otherwise face a real risk of significant harm if they are returned to their homelands, in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and beyond. Yet, successive governments in Australia have declared the need to ‘stop the boats’, at all costs. If you come by boat to Australia, you will be intercepted by the military and turned back at sea. Failing that, you will be forcibly removed to a remote island in the Pacific, where you will likely be detained for years while your protection claim is assessed. Even if you are found to be a refugee, you will never be resettled in Australia. The human cost of Australia’s policies is extreme. At the time of writing, 906 refugees and asylum seekers remain on Nauru and Manus Island, living in conditions of extreme deprivation and despair. Over 80 per cent suffer from depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Experts say that the levels of trauma offshore exceed those in war zones and disaster zones around the world. Twelve people have died, on Australia’s watch. At a time when there are more people in need of protection globally than at any time since World War II, Australia’s policies of deterrence are indefensible. They violate Australia’s obligations under international law – obligations to which our government has voluntarily agreed. They do nothing to address the underlying conditions that lead people to take boat journeys in the first place – persecution and human rights violations at home, and the lack of alternative pathways to safety. Australia has simply pushed the problem away – out of sight, out of mind. In Refugee Rights and Policy Wrongs, we argue that a radically different approach is possible – one that is consistent with international refugee and human rights law. Australia is one of the world’s most harmonious, multicultural and socially mobile countries. We have the capacity to accommodate and celebrate diversity, and to be generous towards those who seek our protection.
Jane McAdam, Climate Change, Forced Migration, and International Law (2012).
Categories:
Environmental Law
,
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Climate Change
,
Refugee & Asylum Law
,
Human Rights Law
,
International Law
Type: Book
Abstract
Displacement caused by climate change is an area of growing concern. With current rises in sea levels and changes to the global climate, it is an issue of fundamental importance to the future of many parts of the world.This book critically examines whether States have obligations to protect people displaced by climate change under international refugee law, international human rights law, and the international law on statelessness. Drawing on field work undertaken in Bangladesh, India, and the Pacific island States of Kiribati and Tuvalu, it evaluates whether the phenomenon of 'climate change-
Guy S. Goodwin-Gill & Jane McAdam, The Refugee in International Law (Oxford Univ. Press, 3d ed. 2007).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Refugee & Asylum Law
,
International Law
,
Human Rights Law
,
International Humanitarian Law
Type: Book
Abstract
Millions of people are today forced to flee their homes as a result of conflict, systematic discrimination, or other forms of persecution. The core instruments on which they must rely to secure international protection are the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol. This book, the leading text in the field, examines key challenges to the Convention such as the status of refugees, applications for asylum, and the international and domestic standards of protection. The situation of refugees is one of the most pressing and urgent problems facing the international community and refugee law has grown in recent years to a subject of global importance. In this long-awaited third edition each chapter has been thoroughly revised and updated and every issue, old and new, has received fresh analysis. Features include: analysis of internally displaced persons; so-called preventive protection; access to refugees; safety of refugees and relief personnel; the situation of refugee women and children; a detailed examination of the role of the UNHCR and the Palestinian situation; and an assessment of the protection possibilities (or lack of them) in the European Convention on Human Rights.

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