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Elena A. Baylis

Elena A. Baylis

Associate Professor of Law

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Professor Elena Baylis is an expert in post-conflict justice. Her scholarship focuses on the intersections between international criminal law and rule of law initiatives, the role of transnational networks, and the interactions between international, national, and sub-national institutions and communities. Her current research concerns donor support for funding transitional justice and the relationships between hybrid courts and national justice systems. She has conducted field research and worked on legal education/rule of law initiatives in several post-conflict states, including Kosovo, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Her research has been commissioned by the International Center for Transitional Justice and the U.S. Institute of Peace.

Professor Baylis also studies U.S. law and policy issues. As in the international context, her domestic research concerns the points of engagement between international, national and local actors. She has published papers on U.S. national security, immigration, and education policy, as well as on the marriage equality litigation.

Professor Baylis has a joint appointment with the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and is the Director of the Semester in DC Program, in which she teaches Law and GSPIA students. Her courses leverage our Washington, DC office by involving Washington-based practitioners to discuss law-and policy-making processes and to mentor participating students. Professor Baylis’s teaching combines elements of experiential learning with on-line and distance learning technologies and in-class simulations and exercises. 

Before joining the University of Pittsburgh, Professor Baylis taught at Mekelle University Law Faculty in Ethiopia as a Visiting Assistant Professor from the University of Alabama Law School. She also practiced civil litigation and advised clients on foreign policy matters with Shea & Gardner in Washington, D.C. and clerked for Judge Mariana Pfalezer of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Professor Baylis is a graduate of Yale Law School, where she was awarded the Raphael Lemkin Prize for the best paper on international human rights. She earned her B.A. summa cum laude from the University of Oregon Honors College.

JD, Yale Law School
BA, University of Oregon


Scholarly Articles

Essays and Other Writing

  • Promoting Contractor Accountability in Conflict Zones, 9 Journal of International Law and International Relations 70 (2012) (book review) (peer reviewed journal).
  • The Transformative Potential of Rigorous Empirical Research, ASIL Proceedings of the 104th Annual Meeting (2010).
  • Response to Professor Melish, 34 Yale Journal of International Law (Online Symposium, Oct. 21, 2009).


  • Presenter, “What Internationals Know,” Midwest Political Science Association Annual Meeting, April 2014.
  • Panelist, Book panel for “Global Legal Pluralism,” Law and Society Association Annual Meeting, June 2013.
  • Panelist, “The International Criminal Court and the Dynamics of Complementarity,” 2013 Samuel Dash Conference on Human Rights: Jurisdiction for Mass Atrocities, Georgetown University Law Center, April 2013.
  • Panelist, “The Nature of War,” Exploring Civil Society through the Writings of Dr. Seuss Conference, New York Law School (March 2013).


  • National Security and Political AsylumImmigration, Integration and Security: America and Europe in Comparative Perspective (A.C. d'Appollonia & S. Reich eds., 2008).
  • The Inevitable Impunity of Suicide TerroristsEvil, Law and The State: Perspectives on State Power and Violence (J. Parry ed., 2006).