Christopher J. Borgen is Associate Dean for International
Studies and Professor of Law at St. John's University School of
Law, where he teaches International Law, National Security and the
Law, the Public International Law Seminar, and Contracts.
Professor Borgen is the co-founder of Opinio Juris, an
international law “weblog” 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 in 2005. 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.
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.
While at the ASIL, he was also an Adjunct Professor of Law
at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he taught
International Business Transactions.
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 is currently the Co-Chair of the Public
International Law Committee of the New York State Bar Association
and recently completed his term as the Chairperson of the United
Nations Committee of the New York City Bar. Professor Borgen also
serves 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
In 2006, Professor
Borgen 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.