Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

Faculty Profile

Jonathan M. Miller

Jonathan M. Miller

Professor of Law

B.A., cum laude, Economics, 1982, J.D., 1985, and Jervey Fellow, 1985-87, Columbia University; Fulbright Scholar, 1987 and 1997, Argentina; Member, New York State and District of Columbia Bars

Courses    Publications

Phone: (213) 738-6784
Office: BW331

An internationally recognized scholar on Latin American legal institutions, Jonathan Miller began his affiliation with Argentina in earnest as a Fulbright Scholar and Jervey Fellow from Columbia's Parker School of Comparative and International Law, and later worked there through a grant from the J. Roderick McArthur Foundation. Under the auspices of these programs, Professor Miller taught courses in constitutional law and civil liberties, in Spanish, as a faculty member at the University of Buenos Aires. He also worked at the Argentine Supreme Court conducting a study of the political role of that Court which would later serve as the basis for some of his books and articles.

"The beauty of studying foreign law is what it teaches you about your own system."

Returning to the United States in 1988, Professor Miller became associated with the Washington, D.C., firm of Arent, Fox, Kintner, Plotkin & Kahn where he focused on commercial litigation on behalf of foreign clients. During that time, his pro bono activities included representing victims of human rights violations by the 1976-83 Argentine military government before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

In 1991, Professor Miller joined the Southwestern faculty where he serves as a faculty advisor to the Southwestern Journal of International Law and was instrumental in establishing the law school's Summer Law Program in Argentina and academic exchange programs with law schools in South America. He also directs Southwestern's USAID-funded Partnership for Advocacy Training, a partnership with México's Instituto Technológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey - Monterrey Campus, to provide training to help México in its transition from an inquisitorial system with written criminal proceedings to an adversarial, oral, criminal trial process. "The beauty of studying foreign law is what it teaches you about your own system," he says.

In 1997, Professor Miller received a second Fulbright Teaching and Research Fellowship to teach in Argentina at the University of Torcuato Di Tella and the University of Buenos Aires. He  has served as a consultant for Lexis/Nexis on establishing online legal research systems in Argentina and Chile. He is the author or co-author of a number of casebooks on Argentine constitutional law and civil liberties law, and a series of articles that examine the history and function of the Argentine Supreme Court. Professor Miller served as chair of the Latin America and Caribbean Law Committee of the American Bar Association Section of International Law and Practice. In 2008, he was decorated as an "Oficial de la Orden de Mayo" by the government of Argentina by Presidential Decree, for his work on behalf of Victor Saldaño, an Argentine citizen on Death Row in Texas.


Books and Chapters


CONSTITUCION Y DERECHOS HUMANOS, 2 vols. (with M. Gelli and S. Cayuso; Buenos Aires: Editorial Astrea, 1991)

CONSTITUCIÓN Y PODER POLITICO, 2 vols. (with M. Gelli and S. Cayuso; Buenos Aires: Editorial Astrea, 1987)

Transplants, Legal Exports As in ENCYCLOPEDIA OF LAW & SOCIETY: AMERICAN AND GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES (D. Clark, ed.; Sage Publications, 2007)

Inter-American Law in INTERNATIONAL LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS IN REVIEW (2003), reprinted in 38 INTERNATIONAL LAWYER 665 (with M. Beaumont; 2004)

Soluciones Imperfectas En Una Democracia Imperfecta in EL CASO BUSSI (EL VOTO POPULAR Y LAS VIOLACIONS A LOS DERECHOS HUMANOS) (Argentine Congress, 2001)


The Latin American Reformer's Stake in U.S. Human Rights Policy in TRANSITIONS TO DEMOCRACY IN LATIN AMERICA: THE ROLE OF THE JUDICIARY (Westview Press, 1993)


The Influence of Human Rights and Basic Rights in Private Law in the United States, 62 AMERICAN JOURNAL OF COMPARATIVE LAW. Supp.  133-149 (2014)

Echoes from the South: Argentina's Early Legislative Debates on U.S.- Style Judicial Review, 48 WILLAMETTE LAW REVIEW 473 (2012)

Inter-American Law, in INTERNATIONAL LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS IN REVIEW 2003, 38 INTERNATIONAL LAWYER 665 (co-editor with M. Beaumont; 2004)

A Typology of Legal Transplants: Using Sociology, Legal History and Argentine Examples to Explain the Transplant Process, 51 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF COMPARATIVE LAW 839 (Fall 2003)

Evaluating the Argentine Supreme Court Under Presidents Alfonsin and Menem (1983-1999), 7 SOUTHWESTERN JOURNAL OF LAW AND TRADE IN THE AMERICAS 369 (2001)

Litigating Human Rights, CALIFORNIA LAWYER 69 (with L. Helfer; February 2000)

The Constitutional Authority of a Foreign Talisman: A Study of U.S. Practice as Authority in 19th Century Argentina and the Argentine Elite’s Leap of Faith, 46 THE AMERICAN UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW 1483 (1997)

Courts and the Creation of a 'Spirit of Moderation': Judicial Protection of Revolutionaries in Argentina, 1823-1929, 20 HASTINGS INTERNATIONAL AND COMPARATIVE LAW JOURNAL 231 (1997)

Judicial Review and Constitutional Stability: A Sociology of the U.S. Model and Its Collapse in Argentina, 21 HASTINGS INTERNATIONAL AND COMPARATIVE LAW JOURNAL 77 (1997)

El método de casos y la educación legal en la Argentina," 48 LECCIONES Y ENSAYOS 339 (Buenos Aires, 1987); reprinted in 1 SABER ABIERTO 99 (Buenos Aires, 1988); revised and printed as "El método de casos y la educación jurídica en América Latina, Revista de Ciencias Jurídicas (San Salvador, 1992)

Control de constitucionalidad: El poder político del poder judicial y sus límites en una democracia, 120 EL DERECHO 919 (1987)

Responsabilidad del fabricante en la Argentina desde la perspectiva del derecho comparado, 111 REVISTA DEL DERECHO COMERCIAL Y DE LAS OBLIGACIONES 347 (1986)

Products Liability in Argentina, 33 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF COMPARATIVE LAW 611 (1985)

Missing the boat to Argentina, CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR 11 (May 2003)

Now Who's the Scofflaw?, LEGAL TIMES 62 (February 2003); reprinted as No Cuesta Cumplir, LA OPINION 7A (March 2003)

U.N. Should Rule Post- War lraq, SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE B9 (March 2003)

Even America Must Respect the World Court, SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE B7 (February 2003)

'Tough on Crime' May Backfire, LOS ANGELES TIMES M5 (November, 2002)

Argentine Crisis Won't End Until Corruption Does, LOS ANGELES TIMES B11 (January 2002); reprinted in the BUENOS AIRES HERALD

International Law May Halt the Bombing, LOS ANGELES TIMES B7 (May 1999); reprinted in NEWSDAY, THE RECORD (Bergen County, New Jersey and other U.S. and foreign newspapers)

Ignoring Political Influences, LEGAL TIMES 51 (August 1995)

A Missed Opportunity, CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR 18 (April 1995)


Rationality vs. Charisma - An Historical Explanation of the Early Success and Recent Failure of the Argentine Supreme Court, 1863-1998, a dissertation that was accepted and successfully defended and is being revised for publication as a book (April 1996)

Selected Achievements

Chair, Latin American and Caribbean Law Committee, ABA Section of International Law and Practice (2004-2005; Co-Chair 2003-2004; Vice-Chair, 2001-2003)

Oficial de la Orden de Mayo by the government of Argentina by Presidential Decree, for his work on behalf of Victor Saldaño, an Argentine citizen on Death Row in Texas