Waibel, Sovereign Defaults before International Courts and Tribunals

junio 13, 2013

Se ha publicado mi ‘book review’ del libro de Michael Waibel en el European Journal of International Law (2013) 24 (2): 732-735.

Michael Waibel’s book is a timely, elegant, and rich study of the adjudication of sovereign defaults by international courts and tribunals. In a time of learning the hard way to overcome what Reinhard and Rogoff’s study of financial crises has described as the ‘this-time-is-different’ syndrome, Waibel gives us an account of the underdeveloped state of the law regulating sovereign debt through the study of the relevant cases before international courts and tribunals. These kinds of disputes abound: Waibel’s book explains and assumes that ‘[e]ver since the birth of the modern fiscal and borrowing state in the seventeenth century, disputes on the non-payment of sovereign debt have been common’ (at 8). The book, which has won the 2012 European Society of International Law Book Prize, presents a thorough study of these disputes organized in two parts: the first part is a history of the varied ways in which sovereign defaults have been adjudicated on internationally over the past 150 years; the second part concentrates on the present and future resolution of sovereign defaults by international courts and tribunals, and particularly on the role of arbitration on sovereign debt.

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