Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Sovereign Defaults before International Courts and Tribunals


Award Winner

Part of Cambridge Studies in International and Comparative Law

  • Author: Michael Waibel, Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge
  • Date Published: October 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107684294

£ 30.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • International law on sovereign defaults is underdeveloped because States have largely refrained from adjudicating disputes arising out of public debt. The looming new wave of sovereign defaults is likely to shift dispute resolution away from national courts to international tribunals and transform the current regime for restructuring sovereign debt. Michael Waibel assesses how international tribunals balance creditor claims and sovereign capacity to pay across time. The history of adjudicating sovereign defaults internationally over the last 150 years offers a rich repository of experience for future cases: US state defaults, quasi-receiverships in the Dominican Republic and Ottoman Empire, the Venezuela Preferential Case, the Soviet repudiation in 1917, the League of Nations, the World War Foreign Debt Commission, Germany's 30-year restructuring after 1918 and ICSID arbitration on Argentina's default in 2001. The remarkable continuity in international practice and jurisprudence suggests avenues for building durable institutions capable of resolving future sovereign defaults.

    • Explores the challenges involved in building durable dispute settlement institutions capable of resolving sovereign defaults across 150 years
    • Assesses ICSID arbitration on sovereign debt, a hotly contested area of investment arbitration after Argentina's default in 2001
    • Evaluates the strength of creditor rights internationally against defaulting states, allowing investors and financial analysts to estimate recovery values
    Read more


    • Winner of the 2012 ESIL Book Prize

    Reviews & endorsements

    'A remarkable book - to our knowledge, it is the first comprehensive and systematic treatment of this subject. The book combines historical analysis with careful research of case law and other practice. The result is an impressive and original treatment of a subject that is of the utmost relevance for the present state of the international economic system.' Eyal Benvenisti, Jutta Brunnee and Francesco Francioni, jury for the 2012 ESIL Book Prize

    '… the text remains one of the few books which tackle a pressing and topical issue competently, presciently and thoroughly, and ultimately makes a robust case for lawyers to subsequently 're-energise the field'.' Adnan Amkhan Bayno, British Yearbook of International Law

    'Michael Waibel's book is a timely, elegant, and rich study of the adjudication of sovereign defaults by international courts and tribunals.' Carlos Espósito, European Journal of International Law

    'Sovereign Defaults [before International Courts and Tribunals] is comprehensible enough to be read by students yet comprehensive enough to provide new insights into public debt restructuring for even experienced scholars. Lawyers and historians alike will find something new in its pages … Waibel's study is careful, useful and helps inform the debate in this increasingly vital policy arena.' John A. E. Pottow and Emily Himes Iversen, Banking and Finance Law Review

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2013
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107684294
    • length: 428 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.57kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Sovereign debt crises and defaults
    2. Political responses to sovereign defaults
    3. Quasi-receivership of highly indebted countries
    4. Monetary reform and sovereign debt
    5. Financial necessity
    6. National settlement institutions
    7. Arbitration on sovereign debt
    8. Arbitration clauses in sovereign debt instruments
    9. Creditor protection in international law
    10. ICSID arbitration on sovereign debt
    11. Overlapping jurisdiction over sovereign debt
    12. Sovereign default as trigger of responsibility
    13. Compensation on sovereign debt
    14. Building durable institutions for adjudicating sovereign defaults.

  • Author

    Michael Waibel, Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge
    Michael Waibel is a University Lecturer at the University of Cambridge and the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law. His main research interests are public international law, international economic law with a particular focus on finance and the settlement of international disputes. He teaches international law, WTO law and European Union law. Dr Waibel holds Mag. iur. and Dr. iur. degrees from the Universität Wien, an MSc (Econ.) from the London School of Economics and Political Science and an LLM from Harvard Law School. He is admitted to the New York bar and holds a diploma of the Hague Academy of International Law. He has also worked for the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.


    • Winner of the 2012 ESIL Book Prize

related journals

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.