Sheila Paylan

Sheila Paylan

Sheila Paylan is an international criminal lawyer, war crimes investigator, human rights and gender expert, and former legal advisor to the United Nations. She spent more than 15 years advising the 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. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, a Bachelor of Civil Law, and a Juris Doctorate from McGill University, as well as an Master of Laws specializing in Public International Law from the University of London, and has published extensively on the subjects of international justice, remedial secession, and the Responsibility to Protect.

Razzle Dazzle

Razzle Dazzle

Reflecting on her experience in law school, Sheila Paylan highlights the prevalence of form over substance in many aspects of society and calls for cutting through the superficial glitz to appreciate the true value of what lies beneath and within.

Quiet Power

Quiet Power

Embracing quiet power is now a revolutionary act, writes Sheila Paylan in her next column for “Unleashed”, a silent rebellion against the expectation to conform to an extroverted ideal and how that discovery has been liberating.

Noli Me Tangere

Noli Me Tangere

"Noli Me Tangere" delves into the significance of the Latin phrase, exploring its symbolism in religious and literary contexts. Sheila Paylan unveils personal encounters with the phrase, reflecting on its relevance in navigating life's challenges and asserting individual sovereignty.

Seek and Preserve

Seek and Preserve

From adolescent angst to the exploration of cultural resilience, Sheila Paylan discovers the parallels between the preservation of traditions, like Cambodia's Sak Yant tattoo art, and the current challenges faced by the Armenian people in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Taking Off/Letting Go

Taking Off/Letting Go

If we can achieve consistent stillness, focus and wisdom that can be called upon even in the most trying situations, then we obtain a ferocious capacity to build and grow, writes Sheila Paylan, whose frequent flights have helped her learn the art of letting go.

Wake, Dragon

Wake, Dragon

The Year of the Dragon is particularly auspicious. It symbolizes strength, courage, power, nobility and honor and it also coincides with one of the darkest periods in Armenian history. In this inaugural column for “Unleashed”, Sheila Paylan writes about the need to wake up the dragon.

We Are Forever Our Mountains

We Are Forever Our Mountains

If we can turn off the noise for just a moment amid this fresh hellish phase, we might regain the panoramic clarity that we remain, as our mountains, firmly rooted in the crust of the earth from which we eternally rise, writes Sheila Paylan.

A Peace to Fail All Peace

A Peace to Fail All Peace

International mediators have to step up their pressure on Baku, which must include the threat of sanctions in response to further military action against Armenia and continued refusal to unblock the Lachin Corridor.