George C. Christie

James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of Law


George Christie’s chief academic interests are in the areas of torts and jurisprudence, in both of which he has published widely.  He is currently working on problems encountered in the adjudication of human rights as part of his wider interest in comparative legal reasoning. He is the lead editor of, among other books, a casebook in jurisprudence originally published in 1973, and now in its third edition, one on torts first published in 1983, and now in its fifth edition, and one on advanced torts, now in its second edition. His monograph “The Notion of an Ideal Audience in Legal Argument” was published in 2000 and published in French in 2005. His previous monograph, “Law, Norms and Authority,” was published in 1982.  His book, Philosopher Kings? Adjudication of Conflicting Human Rights and Social Values, was published in 2011 by Oxford University Press.

Christie received his A.B in 1955 and his J.D. in 1957 from Columbia University, where he was editor-in-chief of the Columbia Law Review.  He received a Diploma in International Law in 1962 from Cambridge University, and an S.J.D. from Harvard University in 1966.  In 2007 Christie received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Athens.  He commenced his legal career with private practice in Washington, D.C. In 1960-61, he was a Ford Fellow at Harvard Law School and, in 1961-62, he was a Fulbright Scholar at Cambridge University. He then joined the law faculty of the University of Minnesota, where he taught for almost four years. In 1966, he returned to Washington to serve as assistant general counsel for the Near East and South Asia of the Agency for International Development before coming in 1967 to Duke.

Christie has been a visiting professor at Northwestern University, George Washington University, the University of Michigan, the University of Florida, the University of Athens (Greece), the University of Otago (New Zealand), the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa), Fudan University (Shanghai, China), Doshisha University (Kyoto, Japan), and the University of Erlangen (Germany) and a fellow of the National Humanities Center as well as a visiting fellow at the Research School of Social Sciences at the Australian National University in Canberra. He has been a member of the Board of Editors of Law and Philosophy and of Isopoliteia.