Alfredo De Jesus O.

Honorary Associate

CEPMLP, School of Social Sciences

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Dr. Alfredo De Jesús O., is a transnational attorney, arbitrator and academic with a particular focus on the natural resources sector and the oil and gas industry.

Dr. De Jesús O., is a dual qualified French/Venezuelan attorney and arbitrator practicing from his own boutique law firm in Paris and Caracas. He specializes in transnational arbitration, contract and investment law, and regularly advises and represents States, state entities and private investors in their transnational disputes and transactions with a particular focus on the natural resources sector. He has been involved in over 30 international arbitration proceedings under the Rules of Arbitration of the ICC, ICSID, ICSID’s Additional Facility and UNCITRAL and in several negotiations and transactions involving parties from all over the world.

He earned his Ph.D. Summa cum laude in Transnational Law and Arbitration from the Sorbonne University (University of Paris II), holds two Master's Degrees in Private and in Commercial and Economic Law from the University of Paris II (Panthéon-Assas) and the University of Paris I (Panthéon-Sorbonne) respectively, and graduated with honours from the Andrés Bello Catholic University in Caracas.

Dr. De Jesús O., is an Adjunct Professor of Transnational Petroleum Law and Arbitration at the University of Paris XI and of Transnational Arbitration at the University of Versailles. He has also taught Transnational Petroleum Law and Arbitration as a Guest Lecturer at the Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy (CEPMLP) of the University of Dundee, at the Environment, Energy & Natural Resources Center (EENR) of the University of Houston, and at the Paris Institute of Political Sciences (Sciences Po Paris).

An Associate Member of the CREDIMI-CNRS, Centre de recherché sur le droit des marchés et des investissements internationaux, the mixed research unit of the French National Centre for Scientific Research and the University of Burgundy, Dr. De Jesús O., is actively involved in several thinktanks around the world, working primarily on Transnational Law, Lex Mercatoria, Lex Petrolea, and Arbitration. He is a Member of the Steering Committee of the Groupe de Beaune, a Director of the Transnational Petroleum Law Institute, a Member of the ICC Latin American Arbitration Group, a Representative for Latin America of the LCIA Young International Arbitration Group, a Member of the Peer Review Board of the ICSID Review – Foreign Investment Law Journal, and a Member of the Board of Reporters of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration.

A prolific writer, Dr. De Jesús O. is the author of The Prodigious Story of the Lex Petrolea and the Rhinoceros. Philosophical Aspects of the Transnational Legal Order of the Petroleum Society

Dr. De Jesús O., is fluent in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.

He is also an amateur rock musician and plays the electric guitar every year at the Fête de la musique festival in Paris with a rock cover band.


The Prodigious Story of the Lex Petrolea and the Rhinoceros. Philosophical Aspects of the Transnational Legal Order of the Petroleum Society

The Prodigious Story of the Lex Petrolea and the Rhinoceros is the story of the new petroleum world order.

This paper explores the reality and the theory of the Lex Petrolea, the transnational legal order of the petroleum society: the plurality of its sources of law, its needs of an effective system of contractual and transnational regulation as well as the autonomy and structure of the transnational petroleum society and the transnational nature of its rules.

The Prodigious Story of the Lex Petrolea and the Rhinoceros proposes a theory that explains the reality of the legal practice of the transnational oil and gas industry in the XXI century, its contracts, its rules and its methods of dispute resolution.

The idea of the Lex Petrolea as a transnational legal order o system of law is based in the Lex Mercatoria Model developed by the École de Dijon and the Groupe de Beaune and therefore it is represented by a Rhinoceros, the symbol of the Lex Mercatoria Model.

The idea of the Lex Petrolea explained in this paper rejects the old and obsolete legal paradigm that used to distinguish between “hard law” and “soft law”. Like a rhinoceros, the transnational rules of the Lex Petrolea are hard and soft at the same time, hard on the outside and soft on the inside, hard in the way they are applied, soft in the way they are created.

The idea of the Lex Petrolea as a transnational legal order or system of law put forward in this paper is based on the existence of a transnational petroleum society (Societas petroleatorum), functioning under the belief that the sharing of the common purpose of making petroleum exploration and production possible and profitable unites its members with a special bond (transnational petroleum solidarism) that encourages the creation of rules specially designed not only to govern their contracts (transnational petroleum contracts) but also to serve the needs and interest of the transnational petroleum society (transnational petroleum public policy).

The paper explains that the position that one might have in relation to the existence, content and efficacy of the Lex Petrolea largely depends on one’s perception of the dynamics of the modern world order, its economy and its regulation.

The author’s vision is that the hyper-connected world in which we live in no longer responds to the logic of the Westphalian fragmentation of the world. Its vision of the global configuration of the economy is that economic transactions are made within a worldwide economic space, a view that is completely detached from the ideology of liberalization of the economy: that’s the reason why the author does not even question the States’ plenary and permanent sovereignty over their national resources. In lack of a World Government, the author’s vision regarding regulation is one of autonomous and transnational governance. In the absence of a World Democracy, the author view is that the legitimacy of its transnational rules is to be found in their acceptance by the members of the transnational petroleum society, for example, by their incorporation to transnational petroleum contracts, codes of conduct, best practices, guidelines etc or by their application by arbitral tribunals.