Sovereign Debt Restructurings: Bridging Economic Reality with Law


March 20-21, 2014

Facultad de Derecho de la Universidad de Buenos Aires
Figueroa Alcorta 2263 (corner of Pueyrredón), Salón Rojo, Ground level
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Sponsored by NYU School of Law, Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA) Law School, and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

The upcoming joint conference in Buenos Aires focuses on sovereign debt restructuring and economic development and represents a major collaboration between NYU Law, UNCTAD, and the University of Buenos Aires Law School. The conference brings together regional stakeholders, including the global faculty teaching in NYU Law’s new study abroad program in Buenos Aires, as well as experts from several countries, and showcases NYU Law’s increasing foothold in Latin America.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

9:00-9:30  Introductory Remarks

  • Mónica Pinto, Dean of the Law School, UBA Law School
  • Robert Howse, Lloyd C. Nelson Professor of International Law, NYU School of Law
  • Yuefen Li, Head of Debt and Development Finance Branch, UNCTAD

9:30-11:00  PANEL 1: Legal History of Sovereign Debt Restructuring

  • History of Debt Default and Repudiation in Light of Changing Ideas of Sovereignty in the Twentieth Century
    Odette Lienau, Associate Professor of Law, Cornell University Law School
  • A Historical Perspective on Sovereign Defaults in the Long Term and International Lender(s) of Last Resort
    Juan Flores Zendejas, Associate Professor of Economic History, University of Geneva

11:00-11:15  Coffee Break

11:15-12:30  SPECIAL EVENT: Presentation of the book Sovereign Financing and International Law: The UNCTAD Principles on Responsible Sovereign Lending and Borrowing


  • Yuefen Li, Head of Debt and Development Finance Branch, UNCTAD
  • Carlos Espósito, International Law Professor, Autonomous University of Madrid
  • Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, Sovereign Debt Expert, UNCTAD


  • Marcelo Alegre, Law Professor, UBA; On-Site Director of NYU Law in Buenos Aires Program


  • Jasper Lukkezen, Researcher, Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB) and Utrecht University

12:30-14:00  Lunch

14:00-16:30  PANEL 2: Sovereign Debt Restructuring and Development

  • The Price of Haircuts
    Juan José Cruces, Dean of the Business School, Torcuato Di Tella University
  • Lenders and Borrowers; Individual vs. Societal Issues and Private vs. Public Interest
    Arturo O’Connell, Adviser to the Governor, Central Bank of Argentina
  • Heavily Indebted Caribbean Countries Initiative
    Jürgen Kaiser, Jubilee Germany
  • The Eurozone Crisis under the Light of the Latin American Experience
    Rubén Lo Vuolo, Researcher, Center for Interdisciplinary Studies of Public Policy

Friday, March 21, 2014

9:00-11:00  PANEL 3: Sovereign Debt Restructuring and International Public Law

  • General Rules of International Law as Applied to Holdout Creditors
    Christian Tietje, Public Law Professor, Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg
  • Standstill During Sovereign Debt Restructurings: The Need for Public Law Approaches
    Matthias Goldmann, Senior Researcher, Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law
  • A Critical Assessment of Forum Fragmentation Through the Lenses of the Argentine Cases
    Florencia Lebensohn, International Law and International Commercial Arbitration Professor, UBA
  • Sovereign Debt Restructuring and ICSID Arbitration
    Silvina González Napolitano, International Law Professor, UBA

11:00-11:15  Coffee Break

11:15-13:00  PANEL 4: Sovereign Debt Restructuring and Human Rights

  • Sovereign Debt, Authoritarian Regimes, and Transitional Justice
    Ruti Teitel, Law Professor, New York Law School
  • Human Rights in the Context of Debt Restructurings: In Search of an International Balance
    Federico Thea, Secretary of Legal and Administrative Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Argentina

13:00-14:30  Lunch

14:30-16:30  PANEL 5: Sovereign Debt Restructuring: The Dialogue Between International Law and Economics

  • Sovereign Debts and Ratings Agencies, a Complicated Relationship
    Francisco Satiro, Fundação Getulio Vargas
  • The Institutional Framework in the Greek Crisis
    Andrés de la Cruz, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton; Global Adjunct Professor of Law, NYU Law Abroad in Buenos Aires
  • Debt Restructuring in the Light of International Law
    Robert Howse, Lloyd C. Nelson Professor of International Law, NYU School of Law