Christian Burset

Christian Burset

Professor of Law

Office: 3101 Eck Hall Of Law
Phone: 574-631-9504
Staff Assistant: Beth Smith
CV: View

Christian Burset is a legal historian whose research focuses on the British Empire and the early United States. His first book, An Empire of Laws: Legal Pluralism in British Colonial Policy (Yale University Press 2023), explains how the eighteenth-century British Empire used different kinds of law to shape the development of its colonies. Burset's other projects have examined the interaction between law and economic change, the historical relationship between jurisprudence and party politics,
the history of arbitration and specialized courts, and the nature of legal authority in the common-law tradition.
Before coming to Notre Dame in 2018, Burset was a Golieb Fellow in Legal History at New York University School of Law and a clerk to the Hon. José A. Cabranes of the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Burset holds a J.D. from Yale Law School; a Ph.D. in history, also from Yale; and an A.B. in history, with highest honors, from Princeton University.

Courses Taught

  • Civil Procedure
  • History of the Common Law
  • The Rule of Law
  • Conflict of Laws



An Empire of Laws: Legal Pluralism in British Colonial Policy (Yale University Press 2023)

Articles and Book Chapters

Partisan Legal Traditions in the Age of Camden and Mansfield, Oxford Journal of Legal Studies (2024) (with T.T. Arvind)

Redefining the Rule of Law: An Eighteenth-Century Case Study, 70 american journal of comparative law 657 (2002)

A New Report of Entick v. Carrington (1765), 110 Kentucky Law Journal 265 (2022) (with T.T. Arvind)

Advisory Opinions and the Problem of Legal Authority, 74 Vanderbilt Law Review 621 (2021)

Arbitrating the England Problem: Litigation, Private Ordering, and the Rise of the Modern Economy, 36 Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution 1 (2020)

Quebec, Bengal, and the Rise of Authoritarian Legal Pluralism, in Entangling the Quebec Act: Transnational Contexts, Meanings, and Legacies in North America and the British Empire 131–64 (François Furstenberg & Ollivier Hubert eds., McGill-Queen’s University Press 2020)

Why Didn’t the Common Law Follow the Flag?, 105 Virginia Law Review 483 (2019)

Merchant Courts, Arbitration, and the Politics of Commercial Litigation in the Eighteenth-Century British Empire, 34 Law & History Review 615 (2016) (peer-reviewed)

The Messy History of the Federal Eminent Domain Power: A Response to William Baude, 4 California Law Review Circuit 187 (2013)

Areas of Expertise

  • Legal History
  • The Rule of Law
  • Legal Pluralism
  • Precedent and Legal Authority