Jorge A. Vargas

Professor of Law

  • SJD, 2010, University of Virginia
  • LLM, 1970, Yale University
  • JD, 1964, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)

Areas of Expertise

Professor Vargas teaches and writes in the areas of international and comparative law, with specialties in Mexican law and law of the sea. He has served as a consultant and/or expert witness on Mexican law before federal and state courts.

Professional Experience

Prior to joining USD, Vargas served as a legal practitioner, government official (legal advisor on boundaries and rivers, Secretariat of Foreign Affairs, SRE), diplomat (member of the Mexican delegation to UNCLOS III) and professor of law in Mexico and in the United States. As a member of the Mexico City Bar, he practiced in the areas of civil law, contracts, corporations, environmental law and foreign investment. Vargas served as legal advisor at the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs (SRE), the Fishing Department (Depes) and the National Council on Science and Technology (Conacyt), where he negotiated bilateral agreements on scientific and technological matters with the United States, Canada, India, the Soviet Union, Japan, the People’s Republic of China and other countries. He participated in the negotiations of UNCLOS III in New York, Geneva and Caracas and served as legal counsel to the president of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) in Paris. He taught law at the Institute of Marine Sciences and Limnology at UNAM, Iberoamericana University and Anahuac University with a focus on constitutional law, transnational corporations and law of the sea. He joined the USD School of Law faculty in 1983.

Honors and Affiliations

Vargas graduated summa cum laude from National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). He was an Adlai E. Stevenson Fellow at the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) in New York and at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars as an ocean affairs fellow.

Key Works

Vargas' publications include Mexico and the Law of the Sea (Martinus Nijhof, 2011); Mexican Legal Dictionary (West Academic Publishing, 2010); Derecho de México y su Terminología Legal (University Readers, 2009); Mexican Commercial Code Annotated (West Academic Publishing, 2009); Mexican Federal Civil Code Annotated (West Academic Publishing, 2009); Mexican Law for the American Lawyer (Carolina Academic Press, 2009); and Mexican Law: A Treatise for Legal Practitioners and International Investors (West Academic Publishing, 2001).

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Jorge A. Vargas headshot

Contact Information

Warren Hall 211-B
5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
(P) (619) 260-4816

Online Resources

Publications on SSRN


Marina Gonzalez
(619) 260-4125