(January 1, 2007) The War in Iraq has intensified the international human rights community’s attention to the staggering amount of debt facing any future Iraqi government.
Odious, illegitimate, illegal or legal debts – What difference does it make for international Chapter 9 arbitration?
(January 1, 2007) Once upon a time, sovereign debts were just that — debts or the entitlement to be repaid fully, including interest. During the 1970s it was thought unnecessary to make any distinctions between debts, based on the assumption that sovereigns might possibly become illiquid, but could never become insolvent.
(January 1, 2007) In a sense, all debts are odious; that is, to use dictionary definitions, “hateful; disgusting; offensive.”1 Yet insofar as international economic law today is concerned, only a certain few debts can be considered “odious debts” in order to contest and perhaps eventually to repudiate them.
(January 1, 2007) The odious debt doctrine has experienced renewed popularity in the past few years; it has been heralded by academics, political commentators, economists, and politicians as a mechanism to alleviate burdens imposed by illegitimate rulers.
(October 30, 2006) The co-author of Advancing the Odious Debts Doctrine addresses how the doctrine can be applied and in which contexts.
(December 1, 2005) Odious debts are debts incurred by the government of a nation without either popular consent or a legitimate public purpose. While there is some debate within academic circles as to whether the successor government to a regime which incurred odious debts has the right to repudiate repayment, in the real world this is not an option currently granted legitimacy either by global capital markets or the legal systems of creditor states.
(March 6, 2004) The principle that foreign debts incurred by an autocratic leader do not have to be paid back by a successor government – is back on the international agenda.1 As it stands, though, his renewed interest in the ‘odious debt’ principle lacks a thorough normative assessment.
(November 1, 2003) In principle, First World development banks and
export credit agencies could curb corrupt behaviour by transnational
companies in developing countries but apparently don’t want to offend
their First World constituents by doing so. This article, Part 3 in a series, takes a close look at a recent case, Lesotho’s Highland Water Project (LHWP), a huge World Bank-financed dam project where a half dozen leading Canadian and European engineering and construction firms are now being prosecuted for bribery by one of southern Africa’s smallest, most poverty-stricken countries.
(March 11, 2003) McGill University legal scholars have completed an investigation into the Doctrine of Odious Debts, and concluded that it is both “morally compelling” and “relatively well supported under international law”.
(January 1, 2003) This report recommends to focus on creating viable power-sharing arrangements, protecting the Iraqi economy and oil interests, and maintaining regional stability. Generous debt and reparations relief arrangements are considered as necessary.
(August 13, 2002) This paper examines the case for eliminating illegitimate or odious debt. The argument is that the population of a country is not responsible for loans taken out by an illegitimate government that did not have the right to borrow ‘in its name.’
(August 1, 2002) Does international law provide a remedy to instances where debts are contracted for purposes of committing recognised international wrongful acts? A contemporary case of the Apartheid Debts
(March 11, 2001) Abbas Alnasrawi is Professor of Economics at
the University of Vermont. This paper was first presented at a
conference organised by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
(August 2000) Does international law provide a remedy to instances where debts are contracted for purposes of committing recognised international wrongful acts? A contemporary case of the Apartheid Debts
(July 10, 2000) This detailed account of the history of the
LHWP, the ensuing corruption scandal and the role of the World Bank was
presented at the Chatham House Conference on corruption in South Africa.