A Debt of Dishonor

32 Pages Posted: 3 May 2022 Last revised: 26 May 2022

See all articles by Kim Oosterlinck

Kim Oosterlinck

Université Libre de Bruxelles - SBS-EM, CEB

Ugo Panizza

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) - Department of Economics; CEPR

Mark Weidemaier

University of North Carolina School of Law

Mitu Gulati

University of Virginia School of Law

Date Written: April 30, 2022

Abstract

In 1825, France conditioned its grant of recognition to the new nation of Haiti on the payment of 150 million francs plus trade benefits. The payments were, at least in part, compensation for the losses that French plantation owners suffered, a key part of which was the loss of enslaved Haitians, who took their freedom via revolution. France has officially apologized and acknowledged a “moral debt” that it owes the Haitian people. But is there a legal debt that Haiti, one of the poorest nations in the world, could claim today from France, one of the richest?

Keywords: Haiti, Odious Debt, 1825 Independence Debt, Sovereign Debt

JEL Classification: G15, H63, K34, O54

Suggested Citation

Oosterlinck, Kim and Panizza, Ugo and Weidemaier, Mark and Gulati, Mitu, A Debt of Dishonor (April 30, 2022). Boston University Law Review, Forthcoming, Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 2022-36, Virginia Law and Economics Research Paper No. 2022-08, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4097278

Kim Oosterlinck

Université Libre de Bruxelles - SBS-EM, CEB ( email )

50 Avenue Roosevelt, CP114/03
Brussels 1050
Belgium

Ugo Panizza

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) - Department of Economics ( email )

Geneva Avenue de la Paix 11A
Geneva, 1202
Switzerland

CEPR

London
United Kingdom

Mark Weidemaier

University of North Carolina School of Law ( email )

Van Hecke-Wettach Hall, 160 Ridge Road
CB #3380
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380
United States

Mitu Gulati (Contact Author)

University of Virginia School of Law ( email )

580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

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