Professor George Christie to be Honored by University of Athens

April 23, 2007Duke Law News

George C. Christie, James B. Duke Professor of Law, will receive an honorary degree from the University of Athens on April 30. Christie is being honored with the title doctor honoris causa – the highest given by the institution – as a distinguished scholar “who, through outstanding work, has greatly advanced our understanding and appreciation of critical issues in the broad field of law,” according to the University’s rector, Professor Christos N. Kittas. Christie was nominated for the honor by the Faculty of Law at the University’s School of Law, Economics and Political Science. “It is our way of asserting the significance and impact of your work in the community of scholars,” Kittas wrote to Christie.

Following the public ceremony on April 30, Christie will deliver an academic address entitled “Challenging Issues in the Adjudication of Human Rights,” based on a scholarly project in which he is currently engaged. He was a visiting professor at the University of Athens Law School in the spring semester of 2000 and delivered public addresses at that university in 2000 and 2003.

From a personal perspective, Christie calls receiving an honorary degree from the University of Athens particularly moving and meaningful because his father was a 1915 graduate of that institution’s Law Faculty. “When I was in Greece as a visiting professor in 2000, I was able to look in the university’s archives and found a picture of my father while he was a student, as well as a copy of his transcript. That, in itself, was moving.” Christie’s father emigrated to the United States in 1920.

A Duke faculty member since 1967, Christie is an expert in the areas of torts and jurisprudence, and widely published in both. He is the editor of a casebook on jurisprudence published in 1973 and now in its second edition, another on torts, first published in 1983 and now in its fourth edition, and a third on advanced torts, published in 2004. In addition to many articles, he is also the author of two monographs: Law, Norms and Authority (1982) and The Notion of an Ideal Audience in Legal Argument (2000), which has also been translated into French.