Financial Crisis

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The Impact of Austerity Policies on International and European Courts and their Jurisprudence

This post is part of the ESIL Interest Group on International Human Rights Law blog symposium on 'The Place of International Human Rights Law in Times of Crisis'. Many countries have been hit by deepening economic depression induced by the economic crisis of 2008. While there is no doubt that the crisis had its origins in unregulated financial speculation, by bailing out and recapitalising the broken banking system (see Bieling 2014), national governments were blamed for the financial slump and were asked by some international institutions, to adopt a policy of austerity (see Blyth 2013). This policy involved draconian cuts in government budgets and spending, the privatisation of public-sector organisations and administrations, and reduction of wages and prices to rescue financial and banking institutions that were deemed “too big to fail”. The main effects of these austerity policies have been described, studied and analysed in terms of the decline of welfare states, breaches of social rights, unemployment, and rising social inequalities between the rich and the poor (see Contiades…

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I invited our Book Review Editor, Professor Isabel Feichtner, to write a Guest Editorial, which was published on the blog in July. As the reader will immediately note it would have been foolish, given the circumstances addressed in that Editorial, to wait for the next issue of EJIL and so I proposed that it be…

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The Greek Sovereign Debt Crisis, the Right to be Free from Economic Coercion, and the Greek Election

People gathered at the 'NO' rally ahead of the Greek Referendum in early July. The Greek sovereign debt crisis has occasioned much discussion on a number of issues that are of interest to international lawyers, in particular after the 25th of January 2015, when the left-wing SYRIZA party (Greek acronym of the full name,…

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Europe’s Debt to Greece

The past five years have shown a categorical disregard for the human rights of the people of Greece by international creditors. We have witnessed a disregard by states, including notably eurozone states, as well as by European institutions and the IMF, of their human rights obligations when crafting conditionalities. There is a long list of deplorable developments that…

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Republic of Argentina v. NML Capital Ltd.: The Global Reach of Creditor Execution on Sovereign Assets and The Case for an International Treaty on Sovereign Restructuring

 On June 16, the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) (Sculpture of Contemplation of Justice at the US Supreme Court, above left, credit) issued its judgment (penned by Justice Antonin Scalia) in Republic of Argentina v. NML Capital Ltd., affirming the Second Circuit Court of Appeals decision holding that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act…

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