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The University of Houston Law Center Faculty

Julian  Cardenas Garcia

Office: 343P


Julian Cardenas Garcia

Research Assistant Professor
Director, Center for U.S. and Mexican Law

Professor Cardenas joined the University of Houston Law Center in 2012 as an Energy Scholar and a Visiting Professor affiliated to the Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Center (EENR Center), focusing on transnational petroleum law and arbitration. Since October 2022, he is the Director of the Center for U.S. and Mexican Law working on bilateral legal affairs between the two nations and promoting exchanges among academic institutions.

As a visiting professor, he has also taught the investment law of major industrial projects (energy, mining, and construction), arbitration, and oil and gas industry practices at the Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) in Brazil; the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León (UANL) in Monterrey, and the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México – ITAM, in Mexico City, Mexico; the University Externado, in Bogota, Colombia; and the University Paris Sud, France.

He frequently works with companies, public authorities, and governments in various areas of oil and gas law and policy. At the EENR Center, he is the coordinator of the "Inter-American Hydrocarbons Regulators Dialogue," an initiative conceived to create a nexus between national hydrocarbons agencies, the private sector, and the academia. Since June 2019, he sits on the Ad Hoc Administrative Board of Directors of Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), the Venezuelan National Oil Company.

He is a conference speaker on transnational oil and gas law, investment law, international arbitration, best oil and gas industry practices, and oil and gas geopolitics. He has been a guest speaker in conferences related to these issues in the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Scotland, the Netherlands, Mexico, Brazil, Cuba, Costa Rica, Trinidad & Tobago, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Gabon, and Kuwait. Also, Professor Cardenas is frequently interviewed by media outlets on Latin American affairs and oil and gas industry matters.

Professor Cardenas has been retained as an independent expert in international arbitrations regarding the upstream petroleum sector in Venezuela and has also been involved in ICC, AAA, and ICSID arbitration cases concerning downstream petroleum transactions, direct foreign investments, and international construction projects.

Before joining the EENR Center, he worked as a foreign legal clerk at the Arbitration Department of Dewey & Leboeuf in Paris, and also served for nearly six years as a career diplomat for the Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, working on multilateral affairs with the Organization of the American States (OAS) and the United Nations (U.N.), and bilateral affairs related to sovereign boundary issues. He works effectively in Spanish, French, and English, and has some working proficiency in Portuguese.

He holds a law degree and a B.A. in International Relations from the Universidad Central de Venezuela; a Master of Laws in Arbitration and a Diplôme Superieur d'Université in Business Law from the Sorbonne University Paris II Pantheon-Assas; and an LL.M. with a Certificate in Energy, Environment & Natural Resources Law from the University of Houston Law Center. He was a Doctoral Fellow at the Research Center for Investment and International Trade Law (CREDIMI-CNRS) at the University of Bourgogne, Dijon, France.

Professor Cárdenas is an accomplished violinist who has played with different symphony orchestras in Venezuela, France, and the U.S. He holds a “Professional Amateur” Diploma from Pro Violin Institute in Frankfurt, Germany. Prof. Cárdenas was awarded the First-Place Prize winner, Amateur Category, in the 2023 American Protégé International Piano and Strings Competition at the Carnegie Hall, in New York City. He has performed as well at the Berlin Philharmonie, the Sorbonne Amphitheatre, the Teatro Teresa Carreño, among other renowned music venues.

Transnational Petroleum Law (Lex Petrolea)
Transnational Investment Law and Arbitration
Diplomacy and Geopolitics of Oil and Gas
Global O&G Service and Procurement Agreements

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