Penelope Mathew holds the Freilich Foundation Chair. Her primary research interests are international law, human rights law, refugee law and feminist theory.Prior to her appointment at the Freilich Foundation, Professor Mathew was a visiting professor and interim Director of the Program in Refugee and Asylum Law at the University of Michigan Law School, where she convened the 5th Michigan Colloquium on Challenges in International Refugee Law. From 2006 – 2008, she was a legal adviser to the ACT Human Rights Commission, where she conducted the Human Rights audit of the ACT’s Correctional Facilities. Professor Mathew has also taught at the ANU College of Law and Melbourne Law School, and she is a past editor-in-chief of the Australian Yearbook of International Law.
Prof. Mathew’s work has focused primarily on human rights, particularly the rights of refugees. In 2001, Prof. Mathew advised the UN High Commissioner for Refugees’ regional office for Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the South Pacific concerning the problems with Australian legislation underpinning the so-called ‘Pacific Solution’. She was also a participant in the third expert panel on refugee law organised by UNHCR during 2001 as part of the ‘global consultations’ on the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, and in 2010, she participated as an invited expert in the High Commissioner’s annual Dialogue. She has written numerous submissions to parliamentary inquiries, particularly those relating to changes to Australia’s immigration laws and their impact on refugees and asylum-seekers. Her evidence to the Australian Senate’s Legal and Constitutional Committee concerning the Migration Amendment (Designated Unauthorised Arrivals) Bill 2006, a bill which sought to extend aspects of the Pacific Solution, was cited extensively by the Committee when it recommended that the bill should not become law. Prof. Mathew has also provided academic opinions to lawyers working on refugee cases before Australian courts, including the test cases for East Timorese asylum-seekers. She is a non-judicial member of the International Association of Refugee Law Judges and previously served as associate rapporteur of its human rights working group. She was one of the faculty members, along with Professor James Hathaway and Rodger Haines QC, for the advanced refugee law workshop organised by the International Association of Refugee Law Judges in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2002. During the 1990s she worked in a variety of capacities with the Jesuit Refugee Service and the Victorian Refugee Advice and Casework Service (now the Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre). In 2008, she was presented with an International Women’s Day award by the ACT government for her outstanding contribution to human rights and social justice.Recent papers, submissions, reports and publications include:
MATHEW, P. , ‘Limiting Good Faith: “Bootstrapping” asylum seekers and exclusion from refugee protection’, 29 Australian Yearbook of International Law 135 – 154 (2010).
MATHEW, P., ‘Anywhere but Here: Australia and “boat people”’, 1 Migration Australia 20 – 31 (2011).
MATHEW, P., ‘Draft Dodger/Deserter or Dissenter? Conscientious Objection as grounds for Refugee Status’, World Conference of the International Association of Refugee Law Judges, Bled, Slovenia, September 2011. (Paper available on the IARLJ website.)MATHEW, P., submission to the Migration Amendment (Detention Reform and Procedural Fairness) Bill 2010. (Submission cited in Committee’s report.)
MATHEW, P., submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Committee inquiry into the Migration Amendment (Strengthening the Character Test and Other Provisions) Bill, 31 May 2011.MATHEW, P., - L’etat c’est moi, Refugee law as a response to non state action, in Participants in the International Legal System: Multiple Perspectives on Non-State Actors in International Law, ed Jean D’Aspremont, Routledge, 2011: pp 390 – 406.
McADAM, J., et al, briefing note for parliamentarians, Migration Amendment (Complementary Protection) Bill 2009, and revised note re the 2010 Bill.MATHEW, P. “Anywhere but here: Australian exceptionalism and boat people”, presented at the Directions and Developments in Refugee Determination workshop, Toronto, 15 October 2010, and the Migration Institute of Australia conference, Sydney, 9 October, 2010.
MATHEW, P. “First Do no Harm: Refugee Law as a Response to Armed Conflict”, paper for Protecting Civilians in Violent Conflict, Canberra, 25 August, 2010.ANTON, D. et al, submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Committee inquiry into the Inquiry into the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Bill 2010 and the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) (Consequential Provisions) Bill 2010.
MATHEW, P. explanatory note, Fifth Colloquium on Challenges in International Refugee Law, The Michigan Guidelines on the Right to Work, 31 Michigan Journal of International Law 289 – 291 (2010): http://students.law.umich.edu/mjil/MATHEW, P. & participants in 5th Michigan Colloquium on Challenges in International Refugee Law, The Michigan Guidelines on The Right to Work, 31 Michigan Journal of International Law 293 – 305 (2010): http://students.law.umich.edu/mjil/
MATHEW, P., The Limits of Good Faith, paper for conference of the Australasian chapter of the International Association of Refugee Law Judges, Sydney, February 2010. (Paper will be available on the IARLJ website.)MATHEW, P., ‘The Myth of Border Control’, ABC Unleashed (9 November, 2009: article concerning the Oceanic Viking stand-off.)
MATHEW, P., ‘Reworking the Relationship between Asylum and Employment’, Background Study for the 5th Michigan Colloquium on International Refugee Law: 114 pp (September, 2009: circulation limited to colloquium participants).MATHEW, P., submission to the Australian National Human Rights Consultation: 6 pp (June 2009: paper available at the consultation website.)
JASTRAM, K., MACTAVISH., A, and MATHEW, P., Violations of Socio-Economic Rights as a Form of Persecution and as an Element of Internal Protection, paper for Human Rights Nexus Working Group presented at the Capetown Conference of the International Association of Refugee Law Judges (January 2009: paper will be made available on IARLJ website).GANI, M., and MATHEW, P., (eds) , Fresh Perspectives on the War on Terror (ANU e-Press, 2008) (413 pages). (Reviewed Law and Politics Book Review, 12 January 2009.)
MATHEW P., - Black Holes, White Holes and Worm Holes: Detention, Diplomatic Assurances and other Subterfuges in the “War on Terror”, in Fresh Perspectives on the War on Terror, ed., M. Gani and P. Mathew, ANU e-press: pp 159 – 187 (2008).MATHEW P., - Resolution 1373 – a call to pre-empt asylum-seekers? (or “Osama the Asylum-Seeker”), in Forced Migration, Human Rights and Security, ed., J. McAdam, Hart Publishing: pp 19-62 (2008).
ACT Human Rights Commission, Human Rights Audit of the ACT’s Correctional Facilities operating under ACT legislation: 80 pp (July, 2007: report available at the ACT Human Rights Commission website. Prof. Mathew was the principal researcher for this report.)ANTON D., MATHEW P., and MORGAN, W., International Law: Cases and Materials (Oxford University Press, 2005) (1008 pages). (Reviewed 21 New Zealand Universities Law Review 733 (2005).)