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Sovereign Debt at the CrossroadsChallenges and Proposals for Resolving the Third World Debt Crisis$
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Chris Jochnick and Fraser A. Preston

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195168006

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0195168003.001.0001

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The Legal Case for Debt Repudiation

The Legal Case for Debt Repudiation

Chapter:
(p.132) 6 THE LEGAL CASE FOR DEBT REPUDIATION
Source:
Sovereign Debt at the Crossroads
Author(s):

Chris Jochnick

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195168003.003.0007

This chapter briefly describes the tremendous social and economic costs of overindebtedness and the role of Northern creditors and governments in solving debt problems. It then sets forth legal reasons for the need for debt repudiation and/or relief: (1) the heightened level of responsibility of creditors and Northern governments; (2) violations of human rights, and (3) the illegitimacy of debt. These arguments are based on well-established principles of domestic and international law that are applicable to domestic proceedings and relevant to a future international insolvency mechanism. The arguments serve to challenge popular or political understandings of the legal sanctity of debt, thereby creating space and support for more ambitious solutions to debt crises.

Keywords:   illegitimate debts, overindebtedness, debt relief, creditor obligations, human rights, international insolvency mechanism

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