The book offers an updated and comprehensive view of the status of the different legal regimes that govern sovereign debt operations. While this book was not written with the outbreak in mind, it provides unique insights into the legal challenges that states and policy makers from the global south ought to consider when facing the challenges of the post Covid-19 world. The following post offers some takeaways from the book.
Domestic Legal Systems
The main finding of this contribution is that most universities offer enough courses on international aspects of law but do not ensure all their students get the minimum necessary, i.e., a sound introduction to the principles of public and private international law as well as ideally the skills to compare legal solutions in various jurisdictions (comparative law).
There is no room for experts from affluent countries to swoop in and tell less affluent countries what they ought to do to reform their tax systems. Instead, experts from wealthy countries need to take tax policy spillovers seriously and correct the systemic flaws in the international tax regime that make it hard for some countries to tax effectively. This is, in my view, crucial to forming an acceptable international social contract going forward.
While international trade has undergone significant structural changes recently, particularly with the proliferation of new generation of free trade agreements (FTAs), the debate on the consequences of IIAs for sustainable development continues to widen and intensify. In effect, while there has been fundamental changes in the international investment landscape in terms of players (now comprising state-owned enterprises and sovereign wealth funds) and FDI direction (with emerging economies now being, not only recipients, but increasingly home states), governments are also now adopting industrial policies and development strategies that contrast with their erstwhile hands-off approach to economic development.