Jane F. Adolphe, Ph.D.
J.C.D., Canon Law, 2001, Pontificia Università della Santa Croce, Rome, Italy
J.C.L., Canon Law, 1997, Pontificia Università della Santa Croce, Rome, Italy
LL.B/B.C.L, 1990, Common Law & Civil law degrees, University of McGill, Montreal, Canada
B.A, 1985, Political Science major, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta
Areas of Expertise
Professor Adolphe has taught Canon Law, Criminal Law, Family Law, International Family Law, International Human Rights, International Law, and International Law and the Holy See.
Dr. Jane Adolphe is called to practice law in the State of New York, USA and Province of Alberta, Canada with degrees in civil law (LL.B/B.C.L) and canon law (J.C.L/J.C.D). As a Professor of Law at Ave Maria School of Law (AMSL), in Naples, Florida (2001 – present), with an expertise in international human rights law, from 2003 she worked for the Holy See (Pope), Secretariat of State, Section for Relations for States, first as an outside legal advisor for Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, then in 2011, during the final years of Pope Benedict VI’s papacy, as an inside expert on international human rights issues within the United Nations System in Vatican City State, and continued into the papacy of Pope Francis, until her resignation in 2020.
While working for the Holy See, in her capacity as Professor of Law, Adolphe established the International Center on Law, Life, Faith and Family (ICOLF), in 2014, as a forum for Catholic jurists guided by the Holy See’s Charter on the Rights of the Family. It was renamed the International Catholic Jurists Forum (ICJF), in 2021. Under the auspices of this forum, Adolphe has organized multiple international conferences on topics of relevance for the Holy See, some of which have resulted in the publication of books that she has co-edited: Clerical Sexual Misconduct: An Interdisciplinary Analysis (Cluny: 2020); Equality and Non-discrimination: Catholic Roots, Current Challenges (Pickwick: 2019); The Persecution of Christians in the Middle East: Prevention, Prohibition, Prosecution (Angelico Press: 2018).
Another notable book co-edited by Adolphe is St. Paul, the Natural Law and Contemporary Legal Theory (Lexington: 2012). A dialogue between theologians at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, in Detroit, Michigan, and law professors at AMSL, it was the outcome document of a speaking series organized by Adolphe and Dr. Robert Fastiggi during the “Year of St. Paul”, declared by Pope Benedict XVI. The book responds to a specific request for a conference on the natural law made by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (as Pope Benedict XVI then was) to AMSL President and Dean, at the time, Bernard Dobranski.
Adolphe was awarded the top 20 persons (6th) of 2020 by Inside the Vatican Magazine for her courage and determination. She was described as a “tireless advocate for victims of abuse and persecution,” and was also profiled as a guest on the Series: Where are they now?” regarding her athletic career with the University of Calgary Dinos basketball team, her career as a law professor, and work with the Pope. She recently appeared on EWTN live with Father Mitch Pacwa to speak about “Catholic thought and Human Rights.” Most recently, Adolphe together with Elizabeth Westhoff of AMSL prepared a series of videos under the auspices of the ICJF to help launch the Global Call to Prayer for China Campaign organized by a coalition of lay Catholics and Christians from around the globe.
She began her legal career clerking with the Court of Appeal and Queens Bench in Calgary, Alberta, and the law firm Bennett Jones Verchere, then prosecuted criminal cases for the Alberta Crown Prosecutor’s Office, and later worked as a legal consultant to a law firm in Rome, and to non-governmental organizations lobbying at United Nations’ conferences, before participating as a member of various delegations of the Holy See at international meetings.
Her doctoral thesis in canon law is entitled: A Light to the Nations: The Holy See and the International Convention on the Rights of the Child. She has published numerous articles on international human rights and the Holy See, and holds a Bachelor of Arts and four law degrees: licentiate and doctorate in canon law (J.C.L/J.C.D) from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, in Rome, Italy; common law (LL.B), and civil law (B.C.L.) from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. Adolphe also holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Calgary.
Professional Membership or Consultant
Member, State Bar of New York, USA
Member, Bar of Alberta, Canada
Director, International Catholic Jurists Forum
Senior Advisor, Global Liberty Alliance
Board of Advisors, International Solidarity and Human Rights Institute
International Advisory Board, Campion College (Australia)
Honors and Professional Affiliations
Top 20 persons (6th) of 2020 by Inside the Vatican Magazine
Jimmie Condon Scholarship, three-time winner, University of Calgary
Numerous tournament and conference all-star awards for athletic achievement in basketball, University of Calgary
Alberta Provincial Basketball Team
All Canadian Basketball Team (1985)
City of Calgary Booster Club Award (1985)
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