Justice Bernal attended Law School at University Externado of Colombia, where he obtained his undergraduate diploma. He holds a PhD in Law from University of Salamanca, Spain, and a Master’s Degree and PhD in Philosophy from University of Florida. Justice Bernal specialized in Human Rights at the International Institute of Human Rights (Institut international des droits de l'homme) in Strasbourg, France.

He has worked as professor of Constitutional Law and Jurisprudence at University Externado of Colombia since January of 2002; as visiting professor in the Department of Philosophy of Law at University of Leon’s Law School (Spain) during the years of 2003 and 2006; as assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Florida; and he has also worked as Research Professor at the Institute of Constitutional Studies of the University Externado and as a member of the Carlos Restrepo Piedrahita Center for Constitutional Studies of the same university. Took his seat May 16, 2017.