Category: Legal Scholars Advance the Principle of Odious Debts

Insolvency principles and the odious debt doctrine:The missing link in the debate

(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.

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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.

Applying the Odious Debts Doctrine while Preserving Legitimate Lending

(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.

High crimes in Lesotho: transnational criminals (Part 3)

(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.

Odious Debt

(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.’