Faculty: Eric C. Christiansen

Eric C. Christiansen

Professor of Law
San Francisco
Eric C. Christiansen

Eric C. Christiansen is Professor of Law and former interim dean of the law school (2020-2021).  He is former Associate Dean for International Partnerships, Associate Dean for Faculty Scholarship, and Faculty Chair at GGU Law. He is the former Director of the GGU Comparative Law Institute and North American Director of the Comparative Law Summer Program at Université Paris Nanterre. Professor Christiansen teaches American and comparative constitutional law and researches and publishes in the areas of comparative constitutional history, social welfare rights, and the rights of sexual minorities.  His academic writings, which have been honored with the Carter Award for Legal Scholarship and the Newman Publication Prize, have appeared in the law journals of Stanford, Columbia, NYU, UCLA, Cornell, and other institutions.  Professor Christiansen attended New York University School of Law as a Root-Tilden Scholar.  In 1999, he was named a Center for Transitional Justice Fellow and began his initial work in the area of South African law, eventually resulting in a position as Foreign Law Clerk to Chief Justice Arthur Chaskalson of the South African Constitutional Court.  Prior to joining academia, Professor Christiansen worked in private legal practice, specializing in international capital markets work for the London office of Latham & Watkins, and in national nonprofit management related to the AIDS epidemic.  He received an M.A from the University of Chicago as an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities and a B.A from the University of Notre Dame.

  • Dean of the Law School (Interim, 2020-2021)
  • Associate Dean for International Partnerships (2018-2020)
  • Senior Fulbright Research & Teaching Scholar (2016-17 Fulbright Program) 
  • Director, GGU Law & Université Paris Nanterre Summer Comparative Law Program in Paris (2008-2013, 2019- )
  • Director, Comparative Law Institute (2009-2013, 2019- )
  • Visiting Professor, Universitat de València, Departmento de Derecho Constitucional y Ciencia Politica (Spain) (2017)
  • Visiting Lecturer in Law, Université Paris Nanterre, Faculté de Droit (France) (2008-13)
  • Chair of the Law Faculty (2012-2016)
  • Associate Dean for Faculty Scholarship (2009-2012)
  • Co-Founder, Faculty Scholarship Support Group (2008-2012)
  • Co-Founder and Co-Director, GGU Law & Leadership Program (2007-2009)


  • Constitutional Law I & Constitutional Law II
  • Sex, the Supreme Court, and the Constitution
  • Comparative Constitutional Design
  • Comparative Equality and Fundamental Rights Law
  • Introduction to European, EU, and French Law
  • Constitutional Issues Seminar
  • Lawyering: Supreme Court Litigation
  • Property I & II


  • Comparative constitutionalism and rights protections over a nation's first three "constitutional generations": drafting, ratification, and earliest adjudication by a new constitutional court
  • Evaluation of effective protection, adjudication, and judicial enforcement of social welfare rights in comparative constitutional law.
  • South African rights protections and post-apartheid constitutional history.
  • Spanish rights protections and post-fascism constitutional history.
  • Equality rights of sexual minorities and fundamental rights to sexual expression and activity.


  • JD, New York University
  • MA, University of Chicago, The Divinity School
  • BA, University of Notre Dame


  • Former associate, Latham & Watkins (London and San Francisco); practice emphasized cross-border corporate finance and capital markets
  • Former foreign/international law clerk to Chief Justice Arthur Chaskalson, Constitutional Court of the Republic of South Africa
  • Former editor-in-chief of NYU Journal of International Law & Politics and NYU JILP International Citation Manual
  • Prior to law school Professor Christiansen worked in the field of nonprofit management and HIV/AIDS education and services


SSRN Scholarship, Social Science Research Network scholarly papers by Prof. Christiansen.


  • Currently a member of the Board of Directors of two organization providing financial assistance to local people struggling with poverty in connection with illness, the Breast Cancer Emergency Fund and the AIDS Emergency Fund.
  • Member, California State Bar.


  • 2016-17 Fulbright Scholar. Senior Teaching/Research at the Department of Constitutional Law at the University of Valencia, Spain.
  • Andrew W. Mellon Fellow, National Endowment for the Humanities, 1994
  • Justice Jesse W. Carter Faculty Scholarship Award, 2009
  • Peer reviewer, South African Journal of Human Rights; Harvard Law Journal in Islamic Law
  • External Research & Grant Evaluator, National Research Foundation of South Africa
  • U.S. Department of State, Academic Discipline Peer Review, Fulbright Selection Committee
  • Flora S. and Jacob L. Newman Publication Prize, 2001
  • Lipper International & Comparative Law Prize, 2001
  • Fellow, U.S. Department of Defense Foreign Language and Areas Studies, 2000-01
  • Fellow, Center for Transitional Justice, 1999-2000
  • Root-Tilden Public Interest Law Scholar (NYU), 1998-2001