H.B. Robertson, Jr.

Professor Emeritus of Law


Horace B. Robertson, Jr., is Professor of Law (Emeritus). He came to the Law School in 1976 as Visiting Professor of Law, being appointed to the permanent faculty as Professor of Law the following year.

At Duke Law School Professor Robertson taught a small section in torts every year, combining it in most years with instruction of the small section in research and writing. Professor Robertson's primary research and teaching interests, however, were in the field of public international law, with primary concentration in the law of the sea and the law of armed conflict. In this field he taught courses and seminars in public international law, law of the sea, international organization and admiralty. Following the completion of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, Professor Robertson served for a number of years on the Council on Ocean Law's Panel on the Law of Ocean uses, which produced a number of research papers designed to encourage changes to the Convention which would make it acceptable for United States ratification, an effort which, combined with that of other groups, resulted in the President's submission of the Treaty to the Senate for consent to ratification in 1995.

From 1986 to 1989, Professor Robertson served as Senior Associate Dean.

Subsequent to his retirement from Duke Law School at the end of 1989, Professor Robertson spent a year as the Charles H. Stockton Professor of International Law at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. He continues to serve as a member of the Advisory Committee on Operational Law of that institution.

Prior to coming to Duke, Professor Robertson served 31 years on active duty in the United States Navy, first as a general line officer (surface warfare) and for the last 21 years as a Judge Advocate. From 1972 to 1976 he served first as Deputy then as the Judge Advocate General of the Navy with the rank of Rear Admiral.

Professor Robertson attended Davidson College from 1940 to 1942 prior to being appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy, from which he received his B.S. degree in 1945. He received his J.D. Degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1953. He also received a Master's Degree in International Studies from George Washington University in 1968.