Professor Chris Behan | School of Law | SIU

Southern Illinois University



Professor Chris Behan

Prof. Behan and students in bostwana

“Along with Professor Mark Schultz, Professor Behan teaches a Legal Globalization and Comparative Law course that focuses on Botswana and South Africa. Students study the history, economic systems, governments, political and legal systems of the two countries for a semester. The culmination of the course is a 14-day visit to the two countries.”

International Teaching

Professor Behan teaches and writes about criminal law, evidence, military law, international criminal law and trial advocacy. Prior to joining the faculty at SIU School of Law, he was a US Army JAG officer for more than 10 years.

Chris Behan

During his stint in the JAG Corps, he deployed to Egypt as a legal advisor for US forces participating in the Multinational Force and Observers in Egypt’s Sinai Desert. As a faculty member at the US Army Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School, he taught military and civilian lawyers and judges from many allied countries, including Australia, Great Britain, Canada, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Croatia, Moldova, the Philippines, and Turkey. He also taught military law courses to US military attorneys in Germany, and throughout the United States.

Professor Behan is also interested in comparative trial advocacy and advocacy training in an international environment. At courses in the United States, he has been privileged to teach with colleagues from Australia, Mexico, Scotland and Hong Kong. He co-administers The Advocacy Teaching Blog with a colleague from the Australian National University. The blog has readers throughout the world, including countries as diverse as Germany, India, Pakistan, Russia, Kenya, Colombia, Japan and China. 

Chris Behan in Israel
Professor Behan in Caesarea, Israel, June 2013.

Chris Behan in Botswana

In 2014, Professor Behan was selected by Justice Advocacy Africa, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving trial advocacy and access to justice throughout Africa, to teach trial advocacy to police prosecutors and attorneys in Gaborone, Botswana.

Professor Behan taught a Comparative War Crimes Tribunal class in the Summer Study Abroad Program in Ireland and Wales for two years.

He is currently involved in plans to host an international comparative common law trial advocacy course and competition at SIU in Spring 2015, featuring students and mock trial competitors from SIU, Australia, Kenya, and Hong Kong. 

Professional Engagement

Professor Behan was awarded a fellowship with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies for the 2013-2014 academic year. As part of that fellowship, he traveled to Israel in June 2013 to learn about Israel’s national security structure and responses to international terrorism. 

In the fall of 2012, Professor Behan, along with Professor Dervan, toured the detainee confinement facilities at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. This visit helped provide background for his presentation and symposium article, "Military Commissions and the Conundrum of Classified Evidence: A Semi-Panglossian Solution," at the SIU Law Journal Symposium, "Guantanamo Bay: What Next?" in February, 2013. 

Presenter, "Implications of the Combatant Status Review Tribunals,” Iowa Association of Administrative Law Judiciary, Des Moines Iowa, April, 2012.

Panelist, “Guantanamo Bay at 10-Consequences and Broken Promises,” Margie Parker Teach-in for Peace, Southern Illinois University School of Law, January, 2012.

Panelist, “The Changing Face of International Justice: Military Commissions, Guantanamo Bay and Beyond,” Southern Illinois University School of Law, November, 2011.

Panelist, “The Response Movie-Combatant Status Review Tribunals and the Protections Offered by the Rules of Evidence,” National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary Annual Conference, Santa Fe, New Mexico, September 2011.