Christopher J. Borgen
Christopher J. Borgen is Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Center for International and Comparative Law at St. John's University School of Law. From 2009 to 2014 he was also the Associate Dean for International Studies for the Law School. Professor Borgen teaches, or has taught, International Law, National Security and the Law, International Finance, the International Law Colloquium, the Law of the European Union, the Seminar on States and Sovereignty, and Contracts, among other courses.
Professor Borgen is the co-founder of Opinio Juris, a website devoted to discussion, debate, and reports concerning international law.
Professor Borgen’s current research focuses on secession and on how “great powers” use of international law as a diplomatic tool in international crises. He is the principal author of Thawing a Frozen Conflict: Legal Aspects of the Separatist Crisis in Moldova, a report issued by the New York City Bar as a result of a mission to Moldova. The report has been the subject of conferences convened under the auspices of the United Nations, the Parliament of Moldova, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He has written widely on the topics of self-determination, secession, the recognition of states, international dispute resolution, and other topics in international law and national security law.
Professor Borgen is Co-Rapporteur for the International Law Association's Committee on Recognition and Non-Recognition in International Law and a past Co-Chair of the American Society of International Law's Space Law Interest Group. He has previously served as the Chairperson of the United Nations Committee of the New York City Bar and on the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law and the Foreign and Comparative Law Committee of the New York City Bar. He is a former Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Prior to joining the faculty at St. John's, Professor Borgen was the Director of Research and Outreach at the American Society of International Law, a non-partisan membership organization and think tank. At the ASIL, he was responsible for defining research areas and implementing public outreach programs as well as specialized programs for the judiciary and the media. He is the co-author, with David Bederman of Emory University and David Martin of the University of Virginia, of INTERNATIONAL LAW: A JUDGES’ HANDBOOK, which was written under the auspices of the Judicial Outreach Program of the American Society of International Law, which was chaired by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. The Handbook was distributed to all federal district and appellate judges.
Professor Borgen began his legal career as a law clerk to Federal Magistrate Judge Arlene R. Lindsay of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. He later spent three years as an associate with the Manhattan law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton, practicing in both the litigation and international corporate groups. Professor Borgen has also served as an international trade consultant in Hungary.
Professor Borgen has received of the Order of Civic Merit, the highest honor awarded to a civilian by the Republic of Moldova, for his work on the ongoing separatist conflict.