Arthur Lehman Goodhart

Arthur Lehman Goodhart, KBE, KC (1 March 1891, New York City10 November 1978, Oxford) was an American-born British academic jurist and lawyer; he was professor of jurisprudence, University of Oxford, 1931–51. He was the first American to be the Master of an Oxford college.


Arthur Goodhart was born in New York and educated at the Hotchkiss School, Yale University and Trinity College, Cambridge. He returned to the United States where he practised law until World War I. Following the war, he started to pursue an academic career in law, initially at Cambridge University and later at Oxford University where he became a Professor of Jurisprudence and subsequently the Master of University College. He was editor of the "Law Quarterly Review" for fifty years.

Personal life and legacy

He was married to Cecily Goodhart (née Carter) and had three children: Sir Phillip Goodhart, Lord Goodhart of Youlbury and Charles Goodhart (after whom Goodhart's law is named).

The Goodhart Quad and the Goodhart Building (to the east, overlooking the quad and used for student accommodation) at University College, Oxford, off Logic Lane, are named in his memory. Cecily's Court, a small open area containing a fountain, located between the Goodhart Building and 83-85 High Street, is named in memory of Goodhart's wife.


Rejected for service with British forces in World War I, 1914, he became a member of the American forces when USA joined the war in 1917; he became counsel to the American mission to Poland, 1919.

He was called to the bar (Inner Temple), 1919, and became a fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and lecturer in jurisprudence; he edited the "Cambridge Law Journal", 1921–5, and the "Law Quarterly Review", 1926. He was Master of University College, Oxford, 1951–63.

As a member of the Law Revision Committee, he helped to promote improvements in various branches of the law.

Honours and titles

* 1938 Honorary bencher, Lincoln's Inn
* 1943, King's Counsel
* 1948, KBE
* 1952, Fellow of the British Academy
* He received honorary degrees from twenty universities
* Honorary Fellow, Trinity College, Cambridge


* Concise Dictionary of National Biography
* Who was Who
* Flade, Ronald. The Lehmans: From Rimpar to the New World : A Family History, 2nd Enlarged Ed., 1999

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