James Thuo Gathii has been named the American Bar Foundation (ABF) 2022-23 William H. Neukom Fellows Research Chair in Diversity and Law, beginning on September 1. He currently serves as a Professor of Law and the Wing-Tat Lee Chair in International Law at Loyola University Chicago School of Law.
Gathii is a leading legal researcher in the field of international law, focusing on public international law, international trade law, comparative constitutional law, human rights, and Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL).
“I am delighted to join a truly superb group of scholars at the ABF during my time as Neukom Chair,” said Gathii. “The ABF provides a great home for my research agenda on diversifying the epistemic content and membership of international legal academia and practice. I look forward to being part of and learning from the ABF’s vibrant academic environment and cutting-edge research.”
His most recent published work includes The Contested Empowerment of Kenya’s Judiciary, 2010-2015: A Historical Institutional Analysis (Sheria Publishing House, 2016) and The Performance of Africa’s International Courts: Using Litigation for Political, Legal, and Social Change (Oxford University Press, 2020). In addition to his books, Gathii has authored over 90 articles and book chapters, and is a founding editor of the Afromonicslaw.org blog on international economic law issues relating to Africa and the Global South.
The William H. Neukom Fellows Research Chair in Diversity and Law is a year-long visiting professor position granted to an outstanding scholar with a distinguished record of scholarship in law and the social sciences. The Neukom Chair leads empirical and interdisciplinary research at the ABF on law and legal processes related to issues of diversity and inequality experienced by women, people of color, people with disabilities, and people from the LGBTQ community. In addition to pursuing their own research, the Neukom Chair also participates in the ABF’s expanding program of research in diversity and law.
Gathii has worked on multiple fronts to steward more robust international research promoting human rights and equality, making him a stand-out candidate for the Neukom Chair. He served as an independent expert for the Working Group on Extractive Industries, Environment, and Human Rights Violations in Africa formed by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights from 2012 to 2022. Gathii is also an expert member of the Working Group on Agricultural Land Investment Contracts of the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDRIOT), the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), and the International Fund for Agriculture (IFAD). He also serves as an elected member of the International Academy of International Law.
“The ABF has long prided itself as a leading international institute for the empirical and interdisciplinary study of law and diversity,” said Ajay K. Mehrotra, ABF Executive Director and Research Professor. “With the appointment of Professor James Gathii as our next Neukom Chair, we not only solidify our reputation as a leading global research center on law and diversity, but we also welcome one of the world’s outstanding international law scholars to the ABF.”
About the American Bar Foundation
The American Bar Foundation (ABF) is the world’s leading research institute for the empirical and interdisciplinary study of law. The ABF seeks to expand knowledge and advance justice through innovative, interdisciplinary, and rigorous empirical research on law, legal processes, and legal institutions. To further this mission the ABF will produce timely, cutting-edge research of the highest quality to inform and guide the legal profession, the academy, and society in the United States and internationally. The ABF’s primary funding is provided by the American Bar Endowment and the Fellows of The American Bar Foundation.