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The Origins of Argentina’s Litigation and Arbitration Saga, 2002-2016

Porzecanski, Arturo C. (2016): The Origins of Argentina’s Litigation and Arbitration Saga, 2002-2016.

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The voluminous and protracted litigation and arbitration saga featuring the Republic of Argentina (mostly as defendant or respondent, respectively) established important legal and arbitral precedents, as illustrated by three cases involving Argentina which were appealed all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court and were settled in 2014. At first glance, the scale of Argentina-related litigation activity might be explained by the sheer size of the government’s 2001 default, the world’s largest-ever up to that point. However, its true origins were the unusually coercive, aggressive way that the authorities in that country went about defaulting on, and restructuring, their sovereign debt obligations, as well as the radical, seemingly irreversible changes to the “rules of the game” affecting foreign strategic investors, which broke binding commitments prior governments had made in multiple bilateral investment treaties.

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