Professor Jaya Ramji-Nogales specializes in immigration law, international law, procedure and process. She currently teaches civil procedure, evidence, gender and migration, and refugee law and policy. Professor Ramji-Nogales’ research areas include empirical assessment of asylum adjudication, international and comparative migration law, and transitional justice.
Along with her Georgetown University co-authors, Professor Ramji-Nogales has published several quantitative and qualitative studies of the U.S. asylum system. Their first study, Refugee Roulette: Disparities in Asylum Adjudication and Proposals for Reform, was the first empirical study of decision-making at all four levels of the American asylum process. Their most recent co-authored study, Lives in the Balance: Asylum Adjudication by the Department of Homeland Security, provides an in-depth examination of the first level of that process, enriching its quantitative findings with interviews and surveys of asylum adjudicators. Both works offer suggestions for systemic reform.
Professor Ramji-Nogales also writes in the field of international and comparative migration law, focusing on forced migration as well as the intersection of immigration and international human rights law. Her most recent work critiques human rights law as insufficiently attentive to the interests of undocumented migrants. Professor Ramji-Nogales has also written on the situation of forced migrants under international criminal law and international humanitarian law. She is a Senior Research Associate of the Refugee Law Initiative of the School for Advanced Studies at the University of London.
Finally, Professor Ramji-Nogales explores questions of process and systemic design in the transitional justice context. Her work in that field suggests that existing efforts are under-theorized and inadequately tailored to local contexts and offers a pluralist theory to guide future transitional justice projects. As a Senior Legal Advisor to the Documentation Center of Cambodia for over fifteen years, Professor Ramji-Nogales has authored several pieces on transitional justice in Cambodia, the lessons of which inform all of her work in the field. She is also the co-editor of Bringing the Khmer Rouge to Justice: Prosecuting Mass Violence Before the Cambodian Courts.
Prior to joining academia, Professor Ramji-Nogales practiced law as a Staff Attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union in New York and as an Associate at the international law firm Debevoise & Plimpton. She was previously awarded a Robert L. Bernstein Fellow in International Human Rights to create a refugee law clinic at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. Professor Ramji-Nogales received a B.A. with highest honors from the University of California at Berkeley; a J.D., in 1999, from the Yale Law School; and an LL.M. with distinction from the Georgetown University Law Center.
Professor Ramji-Nogales is a member of the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law, where she is also a founding co-chair of the International Migration Law Interest Group. She is a senior editor of the IntLawGrrls blog.