During October and November of 2019 one of our law academics, Dr Niamh Kinchin, participated in the Grotius Research Scholar Program at the University of Michigan law school, Ann Arbor, USA.
As well as having the opportunity to discuss her research on artificial intelligence and refugee status determination with Professor James Hathaway, who is a renowned scholar in the field of international refugee law, Niamh attended classes on international refugee law and refugee rights alongside US law students. Niamh said it was fascinating to be part of the US law school experience, especially as the students were generally in their mid-20s and had already experienced a number of years of higher education. It was also a great opportunity to be reminded of what it's like on the other side of the lectern!
Niamh delivered two talks during her stay. One talk was a presentation about her research, which was delivered as part of a visiting scholar and SJD student symposium, and the other was a presentation on Australia's refugee policies, which was a topic many people were interested in. Niamh also had the opportunity to meet with academics from Duke University in Detroit and New York Law School to discuss clinical immigration and refugee law programmes.
Niamh says about her time in Michigan:
From stunning autumn colours to the law quadrangle covered in a blanket snow, I was lucky enough to experience Michigan as it changed with the seasons. My time in Ann Arbor and at the beautiful law school was a wonderful opportunity to step away from my usual life and think deeply about my research. I learnt so much about international refugee law during my time at the University of Michigan and gained rich knowledge and experiences that I can carry forward at the University of Wollongong.