Jonathan Hafetz   

Associate Professor Jonathan Hafetz

Professor of Law

Professor Jonathan Hafetz is an expert on human rights, constitutional law, national security, and international justice issues.  He joined Seton Hall Law School in 2010.  Professor Hafetz is the author of Habeas Corpus after 9/11: Confronting America’s New Global Detention System (NYU Press 2011), which received the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award for Media and the Arts, Honorable Mention, and the American Society of Legal Writers, Scribes Silver Medal Award.  He is the editor of Obama’s Guantanamo: Stories from an Enduring Prison (NYU Press 2016) and the co-editor (with Mark Denbeaux) of The Guantanamo Lawyers: Inside a Prison Outside the Law (NYU Press 2009). Professor Hafetz’s scholarship has appeared in many publications, including the Yale Law Journal, UCLA Law Review, Columbia Law Review Sidebar, Wisconsin Law Review, William & Mary Law Review, International Journal of Human Rights, and Cambridge Journal of Comparative & International Law, and has been cited by numerous courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.  He is currently working on a book about international criminal justice, to be published by Cambridge University Press.

Professor Hafetz is also an internationally recognized constitutional and human rights lawyer.  Prior to joining Seton Hall, he was a senior attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union, a litigation director at New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice, and a John J. Gibbons Fellow in Public Interest and Constitutional Law at Gibbons, P.C.  He has litigated numerous cases at all level of the federal courts, including Al-Marri v. Spagone, 555 U.S. 1220 (2009), Boumediene v. Bush, 553 U.S. 723 (2008), Munaf v. Geren, 553 U.S. 674 (2008), Rasul v. Rumsfeld, 542 U.S. 466 (2004), Meshal v. Higgenbotham, 804 F.3d 417 (D.C. Cir. 2015), Salahi v. Obama, 625 F.3d 740 (D.C. Cir. 2010), and Jawad v. Obama (D.D.C. 2009).  Professor Hafetz has authored or co-authored more than thirty amicus curiae briefs for the U.S. Supreme Court and federal courts of appeals.

Professor Hafetz has lectured widely both in the United States and abroad, including in the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Taiwan, Poland, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti. From 2014-15, Professor Hafetz was a Visiting Research Scholar in the Program in Law and Public Affairs at Princeton University.  Professor Hafetz has testified before Congress, and frequently provides expert commentary for major media outlets and news programs.  His op-eds have appeared in numerous publications including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Boston Review, The Nation, Politico, The American Prospect, and The Guardian. He is a frequent blogger for legal web sites in his field.  Professor Hafetz is the former chair of the New York City Bar Task Force on National Security and the Rule of Law. He has served as a consultant to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Open Society Foundations. 

Professor Hafetz earned his J.D. from Yale Law School. He holds an M. Phil in Modern History from Oxford University and a B.A. from Amherst College. He is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship from the U.S. Government for study in Mexico. Following law school, Professor Hafetz served as a law clerk to Judge Jed S. Rakoff of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and Judge Sandra L. Lynch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.



A Problem of Standards?: Another Perspective on Secret Law, 57 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 2141 (2016)

China and the International Criminal Court: Power and Justice Revisited, 32 Chinese (Taiwan) Yearbook Int'l Law & Affairs 32 (2016)

Resisting Accountability: Transitional Justice in the Post-9/11 United States, 19 Int'l J. Human Rts 429 (2015)

Detention Without End?: Reexamining the Indefinite Confinement of Terrorism Suspects through the Lens of Criminal Sentencing, 61 U.C.L.A. L. REV. 326 (2014)

Policing the Line: International Law, Article III, and the Scope of Military Jurisdiction, 2014 Wisc. L. Rev. 681 (2014)

Diminishing the Value of War Crimes Prosecutions: An International Criminal Law Perspective on the Guantanamo Military Commissions, Cambridge J. Int'l & Comparative L. (2)4: 800-24 (2013) (peer reviewed)

Human Rights Litigation and the National Interest: Kiobel’s Application of the Presumption against Extraterritoriality to the Alien Tort Statute, 28 Maryland J. INT’L L. 107 (2013) (invited symposium)

Calling the Government to Account: Habeas Corpus after Boumediene, 57 Wayne L. Rev. 91 (2012) (invited symposium)

Military Detention in the 'War on Terorrism': Normalizing the Exceptional after 9/11, 112 Colum. L. Rev. Sidebar 31 (2012)

Reconceptualizing Federal Courts in an Age of Terrorism, 56 St. Louis L. Rev. 1055 (2012) (invited symposium)

Redefining State Power and Individual Rights in the War on Terrorism, 46 Valparaiso Univ. L. Rev. 843 (2012)

Vindicating the Rule of Law: Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, 31 Fletcher F. World Aff. 25 (2007)

Habeas Corpus, Judicial Review, and Limits on Secrecy in Detentions at Guantánamo, 5 Cardozo Law, Public Pol'y & Ethics J. 127 (2006)

Judicial Review and the Regulation of Custodial Interrogations, 62 NYU Annual Survey Am. L. 443 (2006)

The Supreme Court's ‘Enemy Combatant’ Decisions: Recognizing the Rights of Non-Citizens and the Rule of Law, 14 Temple Pol. & Civ. Rights L. Rev. 409 (2005)

The First Amendment and the Right of Access to Deportation Proceedings, 40 Cal. Western L. Rev. 265 (2004)

Homeless Legal Advocacy: New Challenges and Directions for the Future, 30 Fordham Urban L. J. 1215 (2003)

Pretrial Detention, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in Latin America, 26 Fordham Int'l L. J. 1754 (2003)

"A Man's Home is His Castle": Reflections on the Home, Family, and Privacy During the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries, 8 William and Mary J. of Women and the Law 175 (2002)

Fostering Protection of the Marine Environment and Economic Development: Article 121(3) of the Third Law of the Sea Convention, 15 Am. Univ. Int'l L. Rev. 583 (2000)

The Rule of Egregiousness: INS v. Lopez-Medoza Reconsidered, 19 Whittier L. Rev. 843 (1998)

The Untold Story of NonCriminal Habeas Corpus and the 1996 Immigration Acts, 107 Yale L. J. 2509 (1998) (cited by U.S. Supreme Court, INS v. St. Cyr, 533 U.S. 289, 2001)


Between Justice and Legality: Charting the Future of International Criminal Law, (forthcoming) (under contract with Cambridge University Press)

Habeas Corpus after 9/11: Confronting America's New Global Detention System, NYU Press (2010)

The Guantánamo Lawyers: Inside a Prison, Outside the Law, NYU Press (2009) (co-edited with Mark Denbeaux)

Corporations and Privacy: An Evolving Relationship, in Surveillance, Privacy, and Transnational Relations in the Digital Age (Forthcoming) (Hart Publishing/Oxford) (D. Cole, F. Fabbrini & S. Schulhofer eds.)

Legal Perspectives on the U.S. War on Terrorism, in Oxford Bibliographies in Criminology (forthcoming) (Beth M. Hubner, ed.) (Oxford University Press)

Detention at Sea: The Persistence of Territorial Constraints on Constitutional Rights, in Constitutionalism Across Borders in the Struggle against Terrorism (Elgar Publishing 2016) (F. Fabbrini & V. Jackson, eds.)

Obama's Guantanamo: Stories from an Enduring Prison, in NYU Press (2016) (editor)