The Catholic University of America

Geoffrey R. Watson

Geoffrey R. Watson was born in Toronto, Canada, but he grew up in the northeast United States. He attended college at Yale, from which he received a B.A. cum laude in history in 1982. He then enrolled at Harvard Law School, where he was a notes editor of the Harvard Law Review. He received his J.D. cum laude in 1986. After graduating from law school, Professor Watson served as a law clerk to the Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, Harrison L. Winter, in Baltimore.

From 1987-1991, Professor Watson served as an attorney-adviser in the Office of the Legal Adviser of the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. While at the State Department, Professor Watson specialized in international criminal law and in legal aspects of U.S. policy in the Middle East. In 1991 he became an assistant professor of law at the University of Puget Sound School of Law (now the Seattle University School of Law) in Tacoma, Washington. He came to CUA as a visiting associate professor in 1995, and he joined the full-time faculty in 1998. Professor Watson is the author of numerous articles on public international law. In addition, he has published a book on the Oslo Accords and co-authored a book on American contract law. He has taught contracts, criminal law, constitutional law, public international law, international human rights law, comparative law, comparative constitutional law, legal issues of the Middle East peace process, and the history of American law.             

             

Research and Writing

BOOKS

"The Capability Problem in Contract Law" (2nd edition) (with Richard Danzig). (New York: Foundation Press, 2004.)
 
"The Oslo Accords: International Law and the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Agreements," (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.)


BOOK CHAPTERS

Secularism Resurrected? The European Court of Human Rights after Lautsii,” in Douglas Kmiec, ed., Secularism Crucified (Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies) (2015).
 
"The Fun of Teaching Legal History", in Teaching Legal History: Comparitive Perspectives (Robert L. Jarvis, ed.) (London: Wildy, Simmonds & Hill Publishers, 2014) (slightly revised version of earlier article by the same name, listed below).
 
"The Persecution of Tom Riddle: A Study in Human Rights Law," in The Law & Harry Potter, ed. Jeffrey E. Thomas & Franklyn G. Snyder. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2010.
 
"EU Accession to the European Convention on Human Rights: An American Perspective," in European Union Issues from a Portuguese Perspective, ed. Marshall J. Breger and Markus G. Puder. Washington, DC: Columbus School of Law Studies in Comparative Law, Columbus School of Law, 2007.
 
"Jerusalem and the U.S. Congress," in Jerusalem: Essays Toward Peacekeeping.  Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2002.
 
"The Law of State Succession." In Contemporary Practice in Public International Law. Dobbs Ferry, NY: Oceana, 1997. 

 

BOOK REVIEWS 

Victor Kattan, "From Coexistence to Conquest: International Law and the Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1891-1948", 105 American Journal of International Law 625 (2011).
 
Gabriella Blum, "Islands of Agreement: Managing Enduring Armed Rivalries", 103 American Journal of International Law 803 (2009).
 
"Review Essay: Study-Aids and Treatises for American Students of International Law," American Journal of International Law 99 (Oct. 2005): 932.
 
"A Casebook for All Seasons?" Seattle University Law Review 20 (Winter 1997): 277 (reviewing Farnsworth et al., “Contracts: Cases & Materials”).
 
 
JOURNAL ARTICLES
 
"Or a Treaty of the United States: The Alien Tort Statute after Kiobel," (2013).
 
“The Fun of Teaching American Legal History,” 53 Am. J. Legal History (2013).
 
Comment, Mara'abe v. Prime Minister of Israel, 100 Am. J. Int'l L. 895 (2006).
 
"The 'Wall' Cases in Legal and Political Context", American Journal of International Law 99 (Jan. 2005): 6.
 
"The Changing Jurisprudence of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia", New England Law Review 37 (2003): 871.
 
"Overview and Remarks: Religious and Social Ethical Perspectives on International Law: The Middle East Peace Process", Proceedings of the 95th Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law 95 (2001): 87.
 
"Comparative Peace Agreements: the Oslo Accords," in Proceedings of the 94th Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law (Sept. 2000).
 
"The OECD Bribery Convention." A.S.I.L. Insight (Spring 1998): 1.
 
"Progress for Pilgrims: An Analysis of the Holy See-Israel Fundamental Agreement." Catholic University Law Review 47 (Spring 1998): 497.
 
"In the Tribunal of Conscience: Mills v. Wyman Reconsidered." Tulane Law Review 71 (June 1997): 1749.
 
"The Humanitarian Law of the Yugoslavia War Crimes Tribunal: Jurisdiction in Prosecutor v. Tadic." Virginia Journal of International Law 36 (Spring 1996): 687.
 
"The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995." Catholic University Law Review 45 (Spring 1996): 837.
 
"The ICJ and the Lawfulness of the Use of Nuclear Weapons." ASIL Insight: Newsletter of the American Society of International Law (June-August 1995): 1.
 
"The Death of Treaty." Ohio State Law Journal 55 (October 1994): 781.
 
"Preface: Symposium on Pacific Rim Trade." University of Puget Sound Law Review 17 (Spring 1994): 503.
 
"Constitutionalism, Judicial Review, and the World Court." Harvard International Law Journal 34 (Winter 1993): 1.
 
"The Passive Personality Principle." Texas International Law Journal 28 (Winter 1993): 1.
 
"Offenders Abroad: The Case for Nationality-Based Criminal Jurisdiction." Yale Journal of International Law 17 (Winter 1992): 41.
 
"Jerusalem", in 1 Cumulative Digest of U.S. Practice in International Law: 1981-88, at 478-86 (1988) (co-authored with Marian Nash Leich.
 
"Comment: Zauderer v. Office of Disciplinary Counsel." Harvard Law Review 99 (November 1985): 193.
 
"Note: Exit Polls and the First Amendment." Harvard Law Review 98 (June 1985): 1927.  
 
 
OTHER WRITINGS
 

Overview and Remarks, Religious and Social Ethical Perspectives on International Law: The Middle East Peace Process, in 95 Proceedings Of The 95Th Annual Meeting Of The American Society Of International Law 87-88 (2001).

Remarks, Comparative Peace: A Look at Recent Peace Accords, Proceedings Of The 94Th Annual Meeting Of The ASIL, at 300 (2000).

The OECD Bribery Convention, in ASIL Insight (Spring 1998).

The ICJ and the Lawfulness of the Use of Nuclear Weapons, in ASIL Insight (June-Aug. 1995).

Jerusalem, in I Cumulative Digest Of U.s. Practice In International Law: 1981-88, at 478-86 (1993) (co-authored with Marian Nash Leich).

Chapter on International Criminal Law: Terrorism, Narcotics, and Extradition Issues, for a Washington State Continuing Legal Education seminar on “World Peace Through Law” (1992).
 

 
 
SELECTED PRESENTATIONS
 
Presenter, “The European Court of Human Rights after Lautsi,” at The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, spring 2014.
 
Presenter, “Jury Amplification: A Legal History,” at The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, Oct. 2013.
 
Presenter, “The ICJ’s Advisory Competence and the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: Legality of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” at a meeting of the ABA Section on International Law, Washington, D.C., April 14, 2005.
 
Report, “Activities of the U.S. State Department’s Historical Advisory Committee,” presented to the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law, Washington, D.C., March 20, 2005. I gave a similar report at the annual meeting in March 2004.
 
Presenter, “Intermediate Sovereignty and the Middle East Peace Process,” at a Workshop of the Intermediate Sovereignty Project (sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation), Washington, DC, Sept. 2001.
 
Panelist, “International Law and Jerusalem,” Washington Institute for Near East Policy, July 2000.
 
Panelist, “The International Religious Freedom Act,” Workshop at George Washington University Law School, Spring 1999.
 
‘Prosecutor’ in a “Simulated Appeal of Radovan Karadzic before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia,” 92nd Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law, Washington, DC, April 2, 1998.


Speaker, “The Law of State Succession,” Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Librarians, Bloomington, Indiana, July 1996.

Moderator, “International Law and the Use of Nuclear Weapons,” Meeting of the International Law Association, New York, NY, November 1995.

Various appearances on CNN’s “Burden of Proof,” Fox News Channel, and local television and radio.

 

HONORS AND AWARDS

“Outstanding Evening Professor,” The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, 2014-15 (presented by the Student Bar Association).

“Professor of the Year,” The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, 2013-14 (presented by the Student Bar Association).

“Outstanding Professor of First-Year Classes,” The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, 2013-14 (presented by the Student Bar Association).

“Outstanding Professor of First-Year Classes,” The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, 2004-05 (presented by the Student Bar Association).

“The Bruno Damiani Professor of the Year,” The Catholic University of America,
Spring 2001 (university-wide award, presented by the Graduate Student
Association of the University).

“Best First Year Professor,” The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, Spring 2001 (presented by the Student Bar Association).

“Professor of the Year,” The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, Spring 1999 (presented by the Student Bar Association).

“Best First Year Professor,” The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, Spring 1998 (presented by the Student Bar Association).

“Best First Year Professor,” The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, Spring 1997 (presented by the Student Bar Association).

“Most Animated and Entertaining Professor,” The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, Spring 1997 (presented by the Student Bar Association).

 

PERSONAL

Born in Toronto, Canada.
Citizenship: USA
Married to Anne Korbel Albright; 2 children.
Interests include piano, oil painting, drawing, computer programming, golf, the Boston Red Sox, sailing, science fiction, and travel.
 

 

In His Words ...

"I strive for intellectual rigor and professionalism in my classroom – but I also believe that learning should be fun. For example, I demonstrate a particular point of contract law by juggling erasers. What other law school offers that?"

– Geoffrey R. Watson

Contact

Office: 477 Law School
The Catholic University of America
3600 John McCormack Rd., NE
Washington, D.C. 20064

Phone: 202-319-5978

E-mail: watson@law.edu
 

Courses

  • Contracts
  • Public International Law
  • History of Early American Law
  • History of Modern American Law
  • International Human Rights Law
  • International Criminal Law
  • Legal Aspects of the Middle East Peace Process
     

Education

J.D.
Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Mass.
cum laude 1986
Board of Editors, Harvard Law Review
Instructor in Legal Methods
 

B.A.
Yale College, New Haven, Conn.
cum laude 1982
Member, University Advisory Committee on Investor Responsibility

 

Areas of Expertise

  • Public International Law
  • Legal Aspects of the Middle East Peace Process
  • History of American Law
     

Experience

  • The Catholic University
    of America Columbus School Law
    , Washington, DC
    Professor of Law,
    2000-present

    Associate Professor of Law,
    1999-2000

    Visiting Associate
    Professor of Law,
    1995-1998

    Subjects taught: Contracts, Constitutional Law, Public International Law, Human Rights Law, Criminal Law, Comparative Law, History of Early American Law, History of Modern American Law.

    Administrative duties have included:
    Chair, Self-Study Committee
    (2007-08)

    Secretary, Committee on Appointments & Promotions
    (2005-07)

    Law School Dean Search Committee
    (2000-01)

    Faculty Representative to University Board of Trustees
    (2000-02)
  • Seattle University School Of Law, Seattle, Wash.
    (formerly The University Of Puget Sound School Of Law)
    Assistant Professor of Law,
    1991-95

    Subjects taught: Contracts, International Law, Human Rights Law, National Security Law.
  • U.S. Department Of State
    Office Of The Legal Adviser
    , Washington, D.C.
    Attorney-Adviser,
    1987-91

    Office of Law Enforcement
    and Intelligence,
    1987-89

    Office of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs,
    1989-91

    Participated in negotiation of treaties; drafted briefs and memoranda; prepared
    legal advice on a wide range of issues relating to the Middle East.
  • The Hon. Harrison L. Winter
    Chief Judge, U.S. Court Of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

    Law Clerk, 1986-87

    Drafted opinions and bench memoranda.