W. Hays Parks entered federal service as a commissioned officer in the Marine Corps. His initial service was as a reconnaissance officer. He served in the Republic of Viet Nam (1968-1969) as an infantry officer and senior prosecuting attorney for the First Marine Division. Subsequent assignments included service as the first Marine Corps Representative at the Judge Advocate General's School, U.S. Army, as a congressional liaison officer for the Secretary of the Navy, and as Chief, Law of War Branch, Office of the Judge Advocate General of the Navy.
Mr. Parks became the Special Assistant to The Judge Advocate General of the Army for Law of War Matters in July 1979. He has served as a legal adviser to U.S. Special Operations Forces since 1979. He was a legal adviser for the 1986 airstrike against terrorist-related targets in Libya, and had primary responsibility for the investigation of Iraqi war crimes during its 1990-1991 occupation of Kuwait. He was a United States representative for law of war negotiations in New York, Geneva, The Hague and Vienna. He joined the International Affairs Division, Office of General Counsel, Department of Defense, in August 2003. He chaired the DOD Law of War Working group until his retirement in 2010.
Mr. Parks occupied the Charles H. Stockton Chair of International Law at the Naval War College for the1984-1985 academic year. In 1987 he served as a staff member on the Presidential Commission established to examine alleged security breaches in the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. In 1989 he prepared the U.S. Government’s legal opinion defining assassination. He has testified as an expert witness in cases against terrorists in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. A retired colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve, he earned Navy-Marine Corps, Canadian and British Parachutist wings, U.S. Army Master Parachutist wings, and 82nd Airborne Centurion wings during his military career.
Mr. Parks has lectured on the law affecting military operations at the National, Army, Air Force and Naval War Colleges; the service staff colleges; and other U.S. and foreign service schools.
Mr. Parks received his BA and JD from Baylor University.
There are no classes currently associated with this professor.
Degrees & Universities
- J.D., Baylor University
- B.A., Baylor University