Max Planck Lecture Series
on Sovereign Debt


The year 2016 marks the fifteenth anniversary of the IMF Proposal for a Sovereign Debt Restructuring Mechanism (SDRM). The SDRM was to be a global regime for sovereign debt restructuring, but it was put aside due to strong opposition from the United States and some developing countries. In the absence of a formal legal framework, the process of sovereign debt structuring remains fragmented and uncertain. This was evidenced in the recent protracted sovereign debt restructuring negotiations, which led Argentina to fall back into default, and pushed Greece to the brink of default. The recent Eurozone debt crisis and the challenges faced by these two countries in restructuring their debts have renewed interest in the legal aspects of sovereign debt and mechanisms for sovereign debt restructuring. The Max Planck Lecture Series on Sovereign Debt will provide an opportunity to reflect on the key legal and procedural issues surrounding sovereign debt and restructuring.

The Lecture Series is organized by the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for Procedural Law with financial support from the Fonds National de la Recherche. The Lecture Series comprises of six lectures to be delivered by highly renowned experts in the field. The six lectures of the series are logically sequenced to ensure continuity and progression. The opening two lectures will explore the legal and economic foundations of sovereign debt and default. This will be followed by two lectures focusing on the practical challenges posed by sovereign debt crisis and the limitations of the existing legal framework for sovereign debt restructuring. The final two lectures will reflect on the proposed solutions to the sovereign debt restructuring problem; they will discuss the range of proposals for reform of sovereign debt restructuring categorized under the contractual and statutory approaches. The full list of lectures is available hereinbelow.

The lecture series will begin on 5 October 2016 and run up to 14 December 2016

Wednesday, 5 October 2016, 16:00

Lecturer: Prof. Ugo Panizza (The Graduate Institute Geneva)
Discussant: Prof. Pierre-Henri Conac (University of Luxembourg)
“The Law and Economics of Sovereign Debt and Default”

Wednesday, 26 October 2016, 16:00

Lecturer: Prof. Robert Howse (New York University)
Discussant: Dr. Matthias Goldmann (Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law and Goethe University Frankfurt)
“Sovereign Debt Restructuring and International Law”

Thursday, 3 November 2016, 16:00

Lecturer: Prof. Mathias Audit (University Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne)
Discussant: Prof. Regis Bismuth (Sciences Po Law School Paris)
“Implications of Recent Sovereign Debt Litigation: Lessons from Argentina and Greece”

Wednesday, 9 November 2016, 16:00

Lecturer: Dr. Michael Waibel (Cambridge University)
Discussant: Prof. Rodrigo Olivares-Caminal (Queen Mary University of London)
“Investment Arbitration as a means of Resolving Sovereign Debt Dispute”

Wednesday, 30 November 2016, 16:00

Lecturer: Mr. Philip R. Wood CBE (Allen & Overy)
Discussant: Prof. Christoph G. Paulus (Humboldt University of Berlin)
“Proposals for Reform of Sovereign Debt Restructuring: The Contractual Approach”

Wednesday, 14 December 2016, 16:00

Lecturer: Mr. Lee C. Buchheit (Cleary Gottlieb)
Discussant: Prof. Luis M. Hinojosa-Martinez (Granada University)
“Proposals for Reform of Sovereign Debt Restructuring: The Statutory Approach”

Max Planck Institute Luxembourg
Conference Room, 4 floor
4, rue Alphonse Weicker
L-2721 Luxembourg

To register or should you have any question, please contact Sabrina Logrillo, Phone (+352) 26 94 88 926,
All lectures will take place between 16:00 and 18:00, are free of charge and open to the public. Please specify the title of the lecture(s) you would like to register for.

For more information you can download the flyer.

To download the poster of the lecture series, please click here.

To download the programme of the lecture series, please click here.