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Sovereign Debt and Human Rights$
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Ilias Bantekas and Cephas Lumina

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198810445

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198810445.001.0001

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Sovereign Debt and Civil/Political Rights

Sovereign Debt and Civil/Political Rights

(p.303) 16 Sovereign Debt and Civil/Political Rights
Sovereign Debt and Human Rights

Sarah Joseph

Oxford University Press

The fundamental premise of this chapter is that all rights (including civil and political) require positive action and utilisation of resources on the part of the state. Equally, it demonstrates that when a state is facing an acute debt situation its negotiating power vis-à-vis its lenders is limited. States often sacrifice democratic principles (such as parliamentary debate) and pass unconstitutional laws as well as restrict the amount of information underlying agreements with lenders, which in turn inhibits the right of citizens to participate in public affairs, the right to information and freedom of expression, among others. Fundamental democratic values, including public participation and accountability of the rulers to the governed, are also directly impacted where states’ policy choices are eroded as a result of externally prescribed economic adjustment programmes and where fiscal, economic and other legislative decisions require the approval of third parties.

Keywords:   Right to life, non-discrimination, access to courts, right to peaceful assembly, democracy

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