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Sovereign Debt and Human Rights

Sovereign Debt and Human Rights


Author: Edited by Ilias Bantekas and Cephas Lumina
ISBN: 9780198810445
Binding: Hardcover
Publication Date: 15 January 2019
Price: $175.00


Sovereign debt is necessary for the functioning of many modern states, yet its impact on human rights is underexplored in academic literature. Without understanding how debt accumulates, it is impossible to realise the impact it can have on the individual.

Taking the big three sovereign lenders of the international financial institutions, the sovereigns, and the private lenders, Bantekas and Lumina ask what the human rights dimensions of their policies are. How do debt-influencing mechanisms and vulture funds enter the mix? What happens to human rights when sovereign debt accumulates? What happens to people’s rights when structural adjustment programmes are imposed on debtor states, in attempts to service their debts?

For the first time Bantekas and Lumina assemble a team of experts, both lawyers and non-lawyers, to arrive at a variety of conclusions: that the imposition of structural adjustment programmes on debtor states, far from solving the complex problem of sovereign debt, in fact exacerbates the debt, damages the state’s economic sovereignty, injures the entrenched rights of peoples, and worsens the borrower’s economic situation.

Table of Contents

Sovereign Debt and Human Rights: An Introduction Ilias Bantekas and Cephas Lumina
Part I – The Historical, Economic and Political Context of Sovereign Debt
Chapter 1. The Historical Context of Sovereign Debt, Kim Oosterlinck
Chapter 2. Sovereign Debt Crises: A Problem of Debt Management?, Rosa María Lastra and Vassilis Paliouras
Chapter 3. Human Rights and Sovereign Debts in the Context of Property and Creditor Rights, Arturo C. Porzecanski
Part II – Sovereign Debt Financing: Institutions and Modalities
Chapter 4. Private Loans to Sovereign Borrowers, Mauro Megliani
Chapter 5. Export Credits, Sovereign Debt, and Human Rights, Sara L. Seck and Daniela Chimisso dos Santos
Chapter 6. The Financial and Social Cost of Public Private Partnerships, María José Romero and Bodo Ellmers
Chapter 7. Foreign Investment, Sovereign Debt and Human Rights, Matthias Goldmann
Chapter 8. The Role of Credit Rating Agencies in Sovereign Debt Markets, Aline Darbellay Susso
Part III – The Impact of Sovereign Debt on Human Rights
Chapter 9. Sovereign Debt and Human Rights: Making the Connection, Cephas Lumina
Chapter 10. Sovereign Debt and the Right to Food, Olivier De Schutter
Chapter 11. Sovereign Debt and the Right to Health, Tim Jones
Chapter 12. Sovereign Debt and its Impact on the Right to Education, Ilias Bantekas
Chapter 13. Sovereign Debt and the Right to Development, Gail Hurley
Chapter 14. Sovereign Debt and Self-Determination, Ilias Bantekas
Chapter 15. Debt Crises, Economic Adjustment and Labour Standards, Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky and Franz Christian Ebert
Chapter 16. Sovereign Debt and Civil/Political Rights, Sarah Joseph
Chapter 17. Illicit Financial Flows, Sovereign Debt and Human Rights, Cephas Lumina and Mulesa Lumina
Part IV – The Impact of Economic Adjustment Policies on Human Rights
Chapter 18. Towards a More Ethical Lending to Sovereigns, Barry Herman
Chapter 19. Conditionality and Debt Relief: An Overview, Thomas Stubbs and Alexander Kentikelenis
Chapter 20. Debt, Austerity and the Structural Responses of Social Rights, Ben Warwick
Chapter 21. Guiding Principles to Assess the Human Rights Impact of Economic Reforms?, Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky
Part V – Human Rights-Based Responses to Sovereign Debt Crises
Chapter 22. Odious Debt, Adverse Creditors, and the Democratic Ideal, Margot E Salomon and Robert Howse
Chapter 23. A Soft Law Mechanism for Sovereign Debt Restructuring Based on the UN Principles, Martin Guzman and Joseph E Stiglitz
Chapter 24. A Sovereign Debt Arbitral Mechanism from a Human Rights Perspective, Ilias Bantekas
Chapter 25. Citizen Debt Audits, Maria Lucia Fattorelli
Chapter 26. Curbing ‘Vulture Fund’ Litigation, Cephas Lumina
Chapter 27. Sustainable Financing through Domestic Resource Mobilization (DRM): The Role of International Law, Francesco Seatzu
Chapter 28. The Right to Unilateral Repudiation of Odious, Illegal and Illegitimate Sovereign Debt as a Human Rights Defence, Ilias Bantekas
Conclusion Ilias Bantekas and Cephas Lumina

Author Information

Ilias Bantekas, Professor of Law, Brunel University and Northwestern University, Cephas Lumina, University of Fort Hare, Professor of Law

Ilias Bantekas is Professor of International Law and Arbitration at Brunel and Northwestern Universities and a senior fellow at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies of the University of London. He has consulted governments, international organisations, private clients and NGOs in most areas of international law and regularly acts as arbitrator. Key works include: International Human Rights Law and Practice (2nd ed, CUP 2016 with L Oette); International Law (3rd ed, OUP 2017, with E Papastavridis); and Introduction to International Arbitration (CUP 2015).

Cephas Lumina is full Research Professor of Law at the University of Fort Hare, an Extra-Ordinary Professor of Human Rights Law at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, an Advocate of the High Court of Zambia and the former United Nations Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations of States on the full enjoyment of all human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights). His work, particularly the UN Guiding Principles on Foreign Debt and Human Rights, is considered as having changed the political and legal landscape in the area of sovereign debt and human rights. He has consulted for various regional and international organisations, governments and non-governmental organisations on human rights and related issues. He is currently a Member of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child.


Valentin Aichele, German Institute for Human Rights

Dimitris Anastasiou, Southern Illinois University

Sarah Arduin, Trinity College Dublin

Ilias Bantekas, Brunel University and Northwestern University, Pritzker School of Law

Francisco Bariffi, National University Mar de Plata

Andrea Broderick, Maastricht University

Gauthier de Beco, Leeds University

Jerome Bickenbach, Swiss Paraplegic Research

Ena Chanda

Jacob Katz Cogan, Cincinnati University

Helen Combrinck, North-West University

Jessica Corsi, Brunel University

Kevin Cremin, Columbia University

Phil Fennell, Cardiff University

Ilze Grobelaar Du Plessis, Pretoria University

Janos Fiala-Butora, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and Director of the Central European Program of the Harvard Law School Project on Disability

Federico Ferretti, Brunel University

Eilionor Flynn, NUI Galway

Antony Giannoumis, Oslo University College of Applied Sciences

Kris Gledhill, AUT Law School

Michael Gregory, Harvard University

Katherine Guernsey, US Department of State

Ayelet Gur, Bar Ilan University

Aart Hendriks, Leiden University

Yoshikazu Ikehara, Tokyo Advocacy Law Office

Emily Kakoullis, Cardiff University, School of Law

Arlene Kanter, Syracuse University

Stavroula Karapapa, Reading University

James M Kauffman, Virginia University

Amanda Keeling, Leeds University

Aga Kitkowska, Karlstadts University

Lalin Kovudhikulrungsri, Thammasat University

Molly Land, Connecticut University

Anna Lawson, Leeds University

Janet Lord, Fellow Harvard University Disability Law Program

Konstantinos Magliveras, University of the Aegean

Innocentia Mgijima, Pretoria University

Stephanie Motz, Barrister and Adjunct Prof at University of Lucerne

Lawrence Mute, Vice Chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights

Roxanne Mykitiuk, Osgoode Hall

Anna Nilsson, Lund University

Smitha Nizar, Consultant

Jehoshaphat Njau, Pretoria University

Mads Pedersen, Clerk at Danish Supreme Court

Facundo Penillas, UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Michael Perlin, New York Law School

Eleni Polymenopoulou, Brunel University

Arie Rimmerman, Haifa University

Francesco Seatzu, Cagliari University

Lucy Series, Cardiff University

Tina Stavrinaki, United Nations

Michael Ashley Stein, Harvard Law School, Director of the Harvard Program on Disability

Eva Szeli, Arizona State University

Dimitrios Skempes, Swiss Paraplegic Research

Mary Pat Treuthart, Gonzaga Univesity

Esteban Tromel, International Labour Organisation

Eliza Varney, Keele University

Penelope Weller, RMIT University

Eli Wolff, Brown University

Chow Pok Yin Stephenson, University of Hong-Kong

[via International Law]

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