Sheila Paylan

International Human Rights Lawyer

Region(s): Global
Country of focus: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia
Based in Yerevan


Current Occupation: International Human Rights Lawyer
Organization/Institution: Independent
Language: English, French


Why are Israel’s leaders worried about international courts? Financial Times Apr 30, 2024

The Dangerous Ramifications of Recognizing the End of Nagorno-Karabakh OpinioJuris Mar 21, 2024

What the landmark ICJ genocide case against Israel means for the world Financial Times Jan 23, 2024

Hague court begins hearing case alleging Israeli genocide in Gaza Financial Times Jan 11, 2024

We Cannot Forget Azerbaijan’s Ethnic Cleansing of Nagorno-Karabakh  Opinion Newsweek Dec 29, 2023

International Law Expert Sheila Paylan on Nagorno-Karbakh: ‘We Need to Step Up and Stop This’ Jurist News Oct 30, 2023

Ratified, Unsatisfied: Addressing Ongoing Concerns About Armenia Joining the ICC EVN Report Oct 11, 2023

Whose Sovereignty Is It Anyway? Armenia’s ICC Bid For Justice with Sheila Paylan On Shifting Ground Podcast Oct 9, 2023

Faith No More: Azerbaijan’s Abdication of Duty Towards the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh OpinioJuris Sep 27, 2023

Refugees Flee to Armenia as Breakaway Enclave Comes Under Azerbaijan’s Control New York Times Sep 24, 2023

Pashinyan says Armenians should stay in Karabakh EurasiaNet Sep 22, 2023

A Peace to Fail All Peace EVN Report Jul 25, 2023

Why deepening Russia-Azerbaijan ties should worry the United States Atlantic Council Jul 13, 2023

Small Countries, Huge Stakes in Armenia-Azerbaijan Talks Opinion Newsweek May 12, 2023

When Might Is Wrong: Addressing Azerbaijan’s Refusal to Comply with the ICJ’s Order to Unblock the Lachin Corridor OpinioJuris Mar 16, 2023

Do the Armenians Face a Second Genocide?  Opinion Newsweek Dec 24, 2022

Sheila Paylan ( @SheilaPaylan ) is an expert in international criminal law, human rights and gender, and former legal advisor to the United Nations across countries and regions. She spent more than 15 years advising judges and senior officials of various UN-backed international criminal tribunals, including for Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia, and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.

From 2019 to 2021, she was appointed by the UN Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights as the Legal Advisor and Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Specialist to a Team of International Experts mandated to assist the judicial and military authorities of the Democratic Republic of Congo with investigating and prosecuting war crimes, crimes against humanity, and gross human rights violations.

Now based in Yerevan, she regularly consults for a variety of international organizations, NGOs, think tanks and governments, and has published extensively on the subjects of international justice, human rights, self-determination, and the responsibility to protect, particularly in the geopolitical context of the South Caucasus.