Elizabeth Defeis

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'Professor Elizabeth Defeis teaches in the areas of International Law and had previously served as Dean of the Seton Hall Law School from 1983 to 1988.

"In addition to International Law, Prof. Defeis teaches International Human Rights, International Criminal Law, European Union Law as well as United States Constitutional Law. She was a visiting Professor of Law at the University of Milan and held the distinguished chair at the University of Naples, Italy. In addition, through Fulbright Scholarships, she has lectured at various universities including those in Russia, India, Bangladash, Italy, Egypt and Armenia. She is also the recipient of several other awards and fellowships including a Ford Foundation Fellowship and a Reginald Heber Smith Fellowship.

"Prof. Defeis has participated in programs involving democracy and constitution building, electoral reform and standards for independence of the judiciary at the request of various governments and intergovernmental institutions such as the government of Armenia, the OSCE [Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe] and the United Nations in countries including Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Guinea Bissau. She has also participated in fact finding missions in Gaza and the West Bank and Armenia.

"Prof. Defeis has written extensively in the areas of International Law, Gender Equality and European Union Law. She is also the Producer/Host of several television courses including Women and the Law, Human Rights and New Jersey, The Italians and the Creating of America and the 10 part International Law Television Course which has been translated into Chinese, Spanish and Russian.

"Professor Defeis currently Chairs the Committee on the United Nations for the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and previously Chaired the International Law Committee for the Association. She is active in numerous other professional associations including SUNSGLOW and is a director of the Albert Einstein Institution, which explores alternatives to violence in the international context. Previously, Professor Defeis chaired the Urban Development Corporation for the State of New Jersey.

"Professor Defeis received her J.D. from St. John's University School of Law and her LL.M. from New York University, School of Law. Prior to joining the faculty of Seton Hall Law School, Prof. Defeis served as an Attorney with the United States Department of Justice in Washington DC and was also an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York. She was also an Associate with the Law Firm of Carter, Ledyard, Milburn in New York and was a Reginald Heber Smith Fellow at Bedford Stuyvesant Legal Services in Brooklyn, N.Y." [1]

Professor Elizabeth F. Defeis “is the former Dean of Seton Hall University School of Law and is currently teaching International Law, International Human Rights, and United States Constitutional Law at Seton Hall. She has provided technical assistance to the governments of Armenia, Sierra Leone, and Tajikistan on constitution drafting and, through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, is producing a television course in conjunction with the U.N. Decade on International Law. She served as the first chair of the Urban Development Corporation of New Jersey and is an NGO delegate to the United Nations Coalition Against Traffic in Women. Professor Defeis is a member of the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Gender Equality in the Courts. Her recent publications include "International Covenants: An Alternative to ERA?" and "Freedom of Speech and International Norms: A Response to Hate Speech."” [2]

Resources and articles


  1. Biography, Sefton School Law School, accessed July 12, 2007.
  2. AEI, “Nonviolent Sanctions”, vol. 6, no. 3 Winter 1994/95.