Sovereign Defaults Before International Courts and Tribunals

SOVEREIGN DEFAULTS BEFORE INTERNATIONAL COURTS AND TRIBUNALS, Cambridge University Press, 2011

5 Pages Posted: 1 Jan 2011 Last revised: 15 Sep 2011

See all articles by Michael Waibel

Michael Waibel

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law; Lauterpacht Centre for International Law; University of Cambridge - Jesus College

Date Written: May 30, 2011

Abstract

As public debt soars, a new wave of sovereign defaults looms. International law on sovereign defaults is underdeveloped because States have largely refrained from adjudicating disputes arising out of public debt. The looming new wave of sovereign defaults is likely to shift dispute resolution away from national courts to international tribunals and transform the current regime for restructuring sovereign debt.

The history of adjudicating sovereign defaults internationally over the last 150 years shows how international tribunals balance creditor claims and sovereign capacity to pay across time. It offers a rich repository of experience for future cases: US state defaults, quasi-receiverships in the Dominican Republic and Ottoman Empire, the Venezuela Preferential Case, the Soviet repudiation in 1917, the League of Nations, the World War Foreign Debt Commission, Germany's 30-year restructuring after 1918 and ICSID arbitration on Argentina's default in 2001. The remarkable continuity in international practice and jurisprudence suggests avenues for building durable institutions capable of resolving future sovereign defaults.

Keywords: sovereign debt restructuring, sovereign default, international law

JEL Classification: K33, F33, F34

Suggested Citation

Waibel, Michael, Sovereign Defaults Before International Courts and Tribunals (May 30, 2011). SOVEREIGN DEFAULTS BEFORE INTERNATIONAL COURTS AND TRIBUNALS, Cambridge University Press, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1732794

Michael Waibel (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law ( email )

10 West Road
Cambridge, CB3 9DZ
United Kingdom

Lauterpacht Centre for International Law ( email )

5 Cranmer Road
Cambridge, CB3 9BL
United Kingdom

University of Cambridge - Jesus College ( email )

Jesus Lane
Cambridge, CB5 8BL
United Kingdom

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