Professor Watson was born and raised in Scotland. He graduated with honors from the University of Edinburgh Law School and came to the United States in 1969. He then obtained an LL.M. in international law from the University of Illinois.
He has also taught at Illinois, Baylor, and Emory law schools.
He has published articles in the American Journal of International Law, The Yearbook of World Affairs, the Illinois Law Review, and elsewhere. He has also presented papers before The American Society of International Law, and The International Studies Association.
His primary interest is in the Jurisprudence of International Law and his main publication in this field is his book entitled Theory and Reality in the International Protection of Human Rights.
Professor Watson retired at the end of the 2020-2021 academic year.