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Jorge L. Esquirol

Professor of Law


Education & CV

  • S.J.D. 2001, Harvard Law School
  • J.D. 1989, Harvard Law School
  • B.S.B.A. 1986, Georgetown University
Curriculum Vitae


  • Commercial Law
  • Comparative Law
  • International Business Transactions
  • International Law
  • Jurisprudence
  • Latin American & Caribbean Law
BiographyFaculty Selected ScholarshipNews Items

Before joining the FIU College of Law, Professor Esquirol was on the faculty at Northeastern University School of Law from 1997-2002 and was previously Director of Academic Affairs at the Harvard Law School Graduate Program from 1992-1997. He was the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Law for the 2015-16 academic year at the University of Trento in Trento, Italy. He has also been a visiting research professor at the Watson Institute at Brown University, visiting professor at the University of Miami School of Law and the University of Denver College of Law, a resident scholar at the Université de Paris X (Nanterre), France, and a visiting researcher at the Constitutional Court of Colombia. Professor Esquirol earned his undergraduate degree in Finance summa cum laude from Georgetown University, and his J.D. and S.J.D. degrees from Harvard Law School. He clerked for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida and was an associate attorney at the Wall Street firm of Shearman and Sterling. Professor Esquirol is fluent in Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese. He is the author of numerous publications in the areas of law-and-development, comparative law, property, and commercial law, including “Ruling the Law: Legitimacy and Failure in Latin American Legal Systems” (Cambridge University Press 2020). He frequently lectures abroad, including at the Universidad de los Andes in Colombia, University of Perugia and University of Piemonte Orientale in Italy, among others. At FIU, he teaches commercial law, comparative law, and international trade law.

Publications 2021-22    

1. Presumptions and Burdens of Land Restitution in Colombia, 31 Journal of Transnational Law and Contemporary Problems (Winter 2021) (26 pages) 

2. Making the Critical Moves: A Top Ten of Progressive Legal Scholarship, 92 University of Colorado Law Review 1079 (2021)(49 pages) 

3. Credit Supports for Italian Specialty Products: The Case of Prosciutto and Long-Aged Cheese, 14:3 FIU Law Review 589 (2021) (24 pages) 

4. Dead Ends and Blind Alleys in the Future of Work: Notes from Italy, in Beyond Inequality: The Future of Work (forthcoming Columbia University Press) (12000 words) 

5. Accommodating Access to Property: Land Restitution and Formalization in Colombia, in (Re)Designing Justice for Plural Societies, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology. Routledge Press (2022) (27 pages) 

6. La légitimité comparée : les réformes proposées par la Commission de réflexion sur la Cour de cassation 2030. Cahiers de Justice (forthcoming). In French. (7000 words) 

7. La culture de la critique aux États-Unis, Archives de Philosophie du Droit (France 2022). In French. (20 pages) 

8. Las presunciones y cargas en la restitución de tierras en Colombia, in Propiedad sobre la Tierra en Colombia (2022) In Spanish. (37 pages) 

9. Les outils juridiques de la politique économique: L’exemple de la réforme des sûretés en France, Revue des Juristes de Sciences Po (France 2022). In French. (7 pages – 9500 words)  

10. Le strategie intellettuali dell’analisi critica, Rivista Critica del Diritto Privato, Anno XXXIX – 2, Italy (June 2021). In Italian. (39 pages)  

11. Book Review of « Histoire des accaparements de terres d’hier à aujourd’hui » by Emmanuelle Tourme-Jouannet, Bruylant, 2021 in Revue Critique de Droit International Privé, no. 3, 647-53 (2022) (8 pages) 

12. The Exceptionality of Latin American International Law, in Oxford Handbook on International Law and the Americas, Oxford University Press (forthcoming).


Ruling the Law: Legitimacy and Failure in Latin American Legal Systems. Cambridge University Press (2019) (283 pages) 

Il regime della proprietà come strumento della giustizia transizionale, in Rivista Critica del Diritto Privato, Anno XXXVII -4 (2019). In Italian. (31 pages)


The Presumptions and Burdens of Land Restitution in Colombia, in (Re)Designing Justice for Plural Societies, edited  by Marie-Claire Foblets,Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Routledge Press (forthcoming).

Zonas Econômicas Agroindustriais: Combinando o Desenvolvimento Econômico e a Reforma Agrária na Colômbia, in Propriedades em Transformação, edited by Débora Ungaretti, Marília Rolemberg Lessa, Diogo R. Coutinho, Flávio Marques Prol, Iagê Zendron Miola, Tomaso Ferrando, Brazil. (August 2018). In Portuguese.

The Geopolitics of Constitutionalism in Latin America, in Constitutionalism in the Americas, Studies in Comparative Law and Legal Culture Series, edited by Colin Crawford and Daniel Bonilla Maldonado, Edward Elgar Press. (February 2018).

Formalizing Property in Latin America, in COMPARATIVE PROPERTY LAW (Lionel Smith (McGill) and Michele Graziadei (Torino) eds.) (Edward Elgar Press) (2017)

La Proprietà in America Latina fra Titolarità e Informalità, in Rivista Critica del Diritto Privato, Anno XXXIV-4, (Italy) (Dicembre 2016) (in Italian)

FICÇÕES DO DIREITO LATINOAMERICANO (Saraiva Editores, Brazil) (April 2016) (in Portuguese)

LAS FICCIONES DEL DERECHO LATINOAMERICANO, Universidad de los Andes, Siglo del Hombre Editores, Bogotá, Colombia (2014)

Legal Latin Americanism, 16 YALE HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEVELOPMENT LAW JOURNAL 145 (2013)

Latin America, in OXFORD HANDBOOK OF THE HISTORY OF INTERNATIONAL LAW, Oxford University Press (2012)

The Latin American Tradition of Legal Failure, 2 COMPARATIVE LAW REVIEW 1.6 (2011)

The Turn to Legal Interpretation in Latin America, 26 AMERICAN UNIVERSITY INTERNATIONAL LAW REVIEW 1031 (2011)

O direito fracassado da América Latina. Portuguese translation of The Failed Law of Latin America, in DIREITO E INTERPRETAÇÃO: RACIONALIDADES E INSTITUIÇÕES, Editora Saraiva, São Paulo, Brazil (2011)

Fallimento del diritto Latino Americano, RIVISTA CRITICA DEL DIRITTO PRIVATO, Italy (2011)

Writing the Law of Latin America, 40 GEORGE WASHINGTON INTERNATIONAL LAW REVIEW 693 (2009)

The Failed Law of Latin America, 56 AMERICAN JOURNAL OF COMPARATIVE LAW 75 (2008)

Titling and Untitled Housing in Panama City, 4:2 TENNESSEE JOURNAL OF LAW AND PUBLIC POLICY 243 (2008)

Alejandro Álvarez’s Latin American Law: A Question of Identity, 19 LEIDEN JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW 931 (2006)

Continuing Fictions of Latin American Law, 55 FLORIDA LAW REVIEW 31 (2003)

Where is Latin America Headed? A Critique of the Sociolegal Approach to Latin America, BEYOND LAW 115 (2003) (English translation of ¿Hacia dónde va Latinoamérica ?)

¿Hacia dónde va Latinoamérica? Una crítica al enfoque sociojurídico sobre América Latina, in Mauricio García Villegas and César A. Rodríguez, eds., DERECHO Y SOCIEDAD EN AMÉRICA LATINA: UN DEBATE SOBRE LOS ESTUDIOS JURÍDICOS CRÍTICOS. ILSA (2003)(original in Spanish)

At the Head of the Legal Family: René David, Chapter 8 in RE-THINKING THE MASTERS OF COMPARATIVE LAW, Hart Publishing, ed. by Annelise Riles, Northwestern University School of Law (2001)

Negotiating Colombia’s Peace Process: Disagreements of International Law, 13 LEIDEN JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW 495 (2000)

Can International Law Help? An Analysis of the Colombian Peace Process, 16 CONNECTICUT JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW 23-93 (2000)

El Proceso de Paz: Conforme al Derecho Internacional, in EL DERECHO COMO LA CONTINUACIÓN DEL CONFLICTO Y EL LENGUAJE DE LA PAZ. Plaza & Janes Editores: Bogotá, Colombia (1999) (Received Best Book Award by the Bogotá Book Chamber of Commerce in the area of Law and Social Sciences, 2000)(original in Spanish)

The Fictions of Latin American Law, 1997 UTAH LAW REVIEW 425 (1997)

Foreign Investment: Revision of the Andean Foreign Investment Code, 29 HARVARD INTERNATIONAL LAW JOURNAL 169 (1988)