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Contracts Without Law: Sovereign Versus Corporate Debt

32 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2007  

G. Mitu Gulati

Duke University School of Law

George G. Triantis

Stanford Law School


Although extralegal enforcement is widely acknowledged, the conventional understanding of written contract provisions, such as the complex and detailed provisions in bond contracts, is that they are drafted to be enforced by law. This framing neglects the value of contracts in shaping extralegal forces, particularly where litigation is unlikely or not possible. Sovereign debt contracts provide an example in which lengthy and detailed contracts play a key role even though the debtor is largely litigation-proof. We examine how contract provisions in sovereign debt contracts improve the efficiency of creditor control outside the realm of legal enforcement.

Suggested Citation

Gulati, G. Mitu and Triantis, George G., Contracts Without Law: Sovereign Versus Corporate Debt. University of Cincinnati Law Review, 2007; Duke Law School Legal Studies Paper No. 152. Available at SSRN:

Gaurang Gulati (Contact Author)

Duke University School of Law ( email )

210 Science Drive
Box 90362
Durham, NC 27708
United States

George Triantis

Stanford Law School ( email )

559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305-8610
United States

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