More than ten years have passed since Argentina defaulted on its external debt obligations in December 2001. However, the repercussions of the Argentine financial crisis continue to contribute to the development of international law. This brief note provides a short overview of the most recent decisions of different domestic courts arising out of this Argentinian saga: NML Ltd et al. v the Republic Argentina before the US Court of Appeals decided on 26th October 2012 (see reporting here, here, here and here), and the decision of the Ghanaian Commercial Court of 2nd October 2012 (see Opinio Juris, BBC, Al Jazeera, and elsewhere: here, and here), while reference will be made to the NML v Argentina case, before the UK Supreme Court which was decided on 6th July 2011 (see reporting here and here).
These three cases pronounced on inter-related, but distinct, legal issues (enforcement of foreign awards, state immunity, and non-discriminatory treatment of bondholders) arising out of the Argentine decision to default on its external debt. In combination, they have far-reaching legal implications. It is noteworthy that different courts from around the globe repeatedly ruled in favour of bondholders and against Argentina. Although Argentina in and out of court has invoked political arguments, such as the implications of the court’s approach to the Eurozone crisis resolution efforts (in NML v Argentina before the US Court of Appeals) and the nature of the claimants as ‘vulture funds’ (see here reacting to the Ghanaian Commercial Court ruling; see also Lord Phillips and Lord Collins in NML v Argentina  UKSC 31, paragraphs 1 and 104-107 respectively), domestic courts consistently prioritise a more legal or stricto sensu approach and promote the Rule of Law in international economic and financial relations.
Background and US Proceedings
After the default in 2001, Argentina made exchange offers to holders of bonds, which were governed by the Fiscal Agency Agreement (FAA). Read the rest of this entry…