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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 June 2021

The Right to Unilateral Repudiation of Odious, Illegal, and Illegitimate Sovereign Debt as a Human Rights Defence

The Right to Unilateral Repudiation of Odious, Illegal, and Illegitimate Sovereign Debt as a Human Rights Defence

Chapter:
(p.536) 28 The Right to Unilateral Repudiation of Odious, Illegal, and Illegitimate Sovereign Debt as a Human Rights Defence
Source:
Sovereign Debt and Human Rights
Author(s):

Ilias Bantekas

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198810445.003.0029

States enjoy the right to unilaterally denounce sovereign debt that is odious, illegal and illegitimate under strict circumstances. This entitlement does not exist where the debt(s) was/were incurred lawfully. A particular form of denunciation is sovereign insolvency, whose unilateral manifestation, is treated in practice by similar principles and responses as those apply mutatis mutandis to other forms of debt management. This chapter identifies, in addition to insolvency, five forms of unilateral debt denunciation that arise from the limited practice of states, which are moreover consistent with general international law. These are: (a) repudiation or non-enforcement of arbitral awards on public policy grounds; (b) denunciation on grounds of executive necessity and/or the right to fiscal/tax sovereignty; (c) direct unilateral repudiation on the basis of reports by national debt audit committees; (d) repudiation of contracts when creditor/investor violates human rights and of unconscionable concession contracts; (e) re-negotiation of bilateral investment treaties and concessions.

Keywords:   Unilateral repudiation, public policy, executive necessity, tax sovereignty, bilateral investment treaties, concessions, odious debt

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