Jonathan Hafetz

Professor Jonathan Hafetz

Professor of Law

  • Degrees:

  • J.D., Yale Law School | M. Phil., Oxford University | B.A., Amherst College
  • Contact:

  • [email protected]
  • Tel: 973-642-8492
  • SSRN Site link
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Courses:

  • Constitutional Law, Civil Procedure, National Security Law, International Criminal Law, Introduction to Lawyering

Professor Jonathan Hafetz is an expert on constitutional law, national security, and international criminal law, and transnational justice. He joined Seton Hall Law School in 2010. Professor Hafetz is the author of the books, Punishing Atrocities through a Fair Trial: International Criminal Law from Nuremberg to the Age of Global Terrorism (Cambridge Univ. Press 2018), and 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 also 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 numerous 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.

Professor Hafetz received a Fulbright Scholar Award for 2021-2022, and will be a Visiting Professor at Rikkyo University in Tokyo, Japan. From 2014-15, Professor Hafetz was a Visiting Research Scholar in the Program in Law and Public Affairs at Princeton University.

Professor Hafetz is 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. From 2017-2020, Professor Hafetz was on leave from Seton Hall Law as a senior attorney at the ACLU’s Center for Democracy. Professor Hafetz has represented prisoners in locations across the globe and litigated landmark cases challenging arbitrary detention, rendition, and torture, 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), Doe v. Mattis, 928 F.3d 1 (D.C. Cir. 2018), Meshal v. Higgenbotham, 804 F.3d 417 (D.C. Cir. 2015), Salahi v. Obama, 625 F.3d 740 (D.C. Cir. 2010), Weir v. United States, 2021 WL 148392 (D.D.C. 2021), Hassoun v. Searls, 469 F. Supp. 3d. 69 (W.D.N.Y. 2020), and Jawad v. Obama (D.D.C. 2009). Professor Hafetz has also authored or co-authored more than thirty amicus curiae briefs for the U.S. Supreme Court and federal courts of appeals.

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, Slate, The Nation, Politico, and The Guardian. He is a frequent blogger for Balkinization, Just Security, and other web sites. Professor Hafetz is the former chair of the New York City Bar Task Force on National Security and the Rule of Law. He has lectured widely both in the United States and abroad, including in the United Kingdom, Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Taiwan, Poland, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti. In 2020, Professor Hafetz was named to the List of Experts for the International Criminal Court at The Hague. 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 previously received a Fulbright Fellowship to conduct research 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 Rocky (and Worrying) Start: The Trump Administration's Use of Military Force, President Trump's First 100 Days: A Symposium, 2017 U. Ill. L. Rev. Online 100 (April 29, 2017)

Fairness and Legitimacy: The Selectivity Challenge in International Criminal Law, Vand. J. Transnat’l L. (2017)

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) (peer reviewed)

Detention Without End?: Reconsidering the Indefinite Confinement of Terrorism Suspects through the Lens of Criminal Sentencing, 61 U. L. Rev. 326 (2014) (selected for UCLA Law Review’s 2013- 14 Scholar Forum)

Policing the Line: International Law, Article III, and the Scope of Military Jurisdiction, 2014 Wisc. L. Rev. 681 (2014) (Kevin J. Barry Award for Excellence in Military Legal Studies, Honorable Mention, from National Institute of Military Justice)

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 Terorism': Normalizing the Exceptional after 9/11, 112 Colum. L. Rev. Sidebar 31 (2012)

National Security and the Recalibration of State Power and Individual Rights, 46 Valparaiso Univ. L. Rev. 843 (2012) (invited essay)

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

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)


Punishing Atrocities Through a Fair Trial: International Criminal Law from Nuremberg to the Age of Global Terrorism, Cambridge University Press (2018)

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

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 (co-edited with Mark Denbeaux) (2009)


Ex parte Milligan and the War on Terrorism: Testing the Constitutional Bedrock of a Civilian Criminal Trial, in Ex parte Milligan Reconsidered: Race and Civil Liberties from the Lincoln Administration to the War on Terror, U. Kansas Press (S. Winger & J. White eds.) (2020)

Towards a Quasi-Constitutional Law of Detention in Armed Conflict, in Quasi-Constitutional and Constitutional Statues, R. Albert & J. Colon-Rios, eds., Routledge Press (2019)

Litigation Across Borders: Enforcing Human Rights in Transnational Counterterrorism Operations, in Human Rights and America's War on Terror, S. Juss ed., Routledge Press (2018)

The Possibilities and Limitations of Corporations as Protectors of Privacy in the Digital Age, in Surveillance, Privacy, and Trans-Atlantic Relations, D. Cole, F. Fabbrini & S. Schulhofer eds., Hart Publishing (2017)

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

Legal Perspectives on the U.S. War on Terrorism, in Oxford Bibliographies in Criminology, Oxford University Press (Beth M. Hubner, ed.) (2016)


Full list of presentations available in Curriculum Vitae

"The COVID-19 Pandemic and International Law", American Society of International Law and Harris Institute of Washington University in St. Louis (April 28, 2020) (webinar)

"What We Learned from Lafayette Square: A Discussion of the Insurrection and Home Rule Acts", D.C. Bar, D.C. Public Affairs Program, Washington, D.C. (July 15, 2020) (webinar)

"Extraterritorial Application of Constitutional Rights", Cardozo Law School (Symposium), New York, NY (Nov. 13, 2019)

"Punishing Atrocities through a Fair Trial: International Criminal Law from Nuremberg to the Age of Global Terrorism", (Book Talk) Fordham Law School, New York, NY (Mar. 13, 2019)