Bert B. Lockwood

Headshot of Bert B. Lockwood

Bert B. Lockwood

Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Director, Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights, College of Law

523 College of Law Building


Areas of Interest: Constitutional Law, Human Rights, International Human Rights


Professor Lockwood is the Distinguished Service Professor and Director of the renowned Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights, the first endowed institute at an American law school devoted to the study of international human rights.  He has been involved in international human rights for over 40 years, working with the late Prof. Richard Lillich, at Syracuse and Virginia Law Schools in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.  At the NYU Center for International Studies, he worked with Professor Thomas Franck and Joel Carlson, one of the leading civil rights attorneys in South Africa.  He played a prominent role in Diggs. v. Schultz, a lawsuit against the Nixon Administration and Union Carbide for violating the UN mandatory economic sanctions against Southern Rhodesia.

While Associate Dean at American University Law School, he taught their first course on international human rights, and co-founded in 1978 the International Human Rights Law Group (now Global Rights), one of the first public interest law firms in the international human rights field.  When Cincinnati received from William J. Butler, Trustee of the Urban Morgan Trust Fund, a gift to establish a human rights program in 1979, Professor Lockwood was recruited as Director.

Since 1982, he has been Editor-in-Chief of the Human Rights Quarterlya multidisciplinary academic journal published by The Johns Hopkins University Press.  HRQ is widely acknowledged to be the leading journal in the field.  In addition, Professor Lockwood has been Series Editor of the Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights, a book series published by the University of Pennsylvania Press, since 1988. Over 100 books have been published in the Series.

Among his professional activities Lockwood has served on the Board of Directors of Amnesty International USA, submitted amicus curiae briefs to a number of courts, served for 20 years as the Rapporteur of the Annual Colloquium on "The Role of Government Departments in the Formulation and Implementation of Human Rights Considerations in Foreign Policy" convened by the American Association of the International Commission of Jurists. He represented the International League for Human Rights in 1986 on a mission to Chile to investigate the human rights abuses of the Pinochet Regime.  In 1994 he was a monitor for the International Commission of Jurists for the South African Elections.  He has been actively involved with the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, and provided the contents for their first exhibit on "The Struggle Continues" focusing upon current human rights issues.

He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including being named Distinguished Service Professor, an appointment given only three times in the history of the University of Cincinnati.

Professor Lockwood often states that he has the best job in the United States.  He has the privilege to work on behalf of human rights with the many talented students who have chosen to study at Cincinnati Law and to be involved with the Morgan Institute.  As well, the Institute has had the strong backing of the law school Deans, faculty colleagues, and staff.


BA, St. Lawrence University
JD, Syracuse University
LLM, University of Virginia

Courses Taught

  • Constitutional Law I
  • Human Rights Seminar


  • Toward the Economic Brown: Economic Rights in the United States and the Possible Contribution of International Human Rights Law in Mark Gibney ed., World Justice? U.S. Courts and International Human Rights (Westview, 1991)


  • 2011 King Legacy Award
  • 2010 Citizen Diplomat: Professional Resources
  • 2000 Just Community Award, University of Cincinnati
  • 1998 Distinguished Service Professorship
  • 1996 Faculty Achievement Award
  • 1991 Honoree, Cincinnati Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union
  • 1991 Sol Feinstone Alumni Award for the Promotion of Individual Freedoms (awarded by St. Lawrence University)