Centre for Commercial Law Studies

Sovereign Debt Forum

Panelists at the Sovering Debt Forum LaunchThe Sovereign Debt Forum (SDF) is the result of a collaboration between Queen Mary University of London (Centre for Commercial Law Studies, CCLS) and Georgetown University (Institute of International Economic Law, IIEL) and was launched at the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC on 21 October 2019. In the spring of 2020, the European University Institute became a member of the SDF.

Professor Rosa Maria Lastra, Sir John Lubbock Chair in Banking Law and Chair of the Institute of Banking and Finance Law at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies (CCLS), is an academic director of the forum with Anna Gelpern (Georgetown). Visiting Professorial Fellow at the School of Law at Queen Mary, Lee Buchheit, is also a Founding Director of the forum with, Mitu Gulati (Duke), and Sean Hagan (Georgetown). Professor Rodrigo Olivares-Caminal, Professor of Professor of Banking and Finance Law at CCLS, Professor Ugo Panizza from Graduate Institute, and Mark Weidemaier of North Carolina University are affiliated scholars of the Forum.

Vision

The Forum serves as an interdisciplinary research hub and a platform for capacity building, policy development, and research-dissemination programs. The Forum’s capacity building work focuses on low- and middle-income countries at risk of sovereign debt distress, as well as countries that have recently gained market access and have limited debt management experience.

Forum activities include:

  • Conducting and disseminating innovative, policy-relevant interdisciplinary research on all aspects of sovereign debt management
  • Development and delivery of capacity-building programs with emphasis on the legal aspects of sovereign borrowing, debt management, restructuring, and litigation
  • Convening experts, researchers and practitioners from diverse academic, policy, and market spheres; organizing conferences, seminars, and policy fora

Members

  • Georgetown Law Institute of International Economic Law
  • Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University London
  • European University Institute

Officials from the following governments and institutions are part of the Consultative Group for the Sovereign Debt Forum: African Legal Support Facility, Central Bank of Ghana, IMF Legal Department, the Dutch Ministry of Finance, HM Treasury (UK), Ministry of Finance (Germany), Paris Club Secretariat, US Department of the Treasury.

Rosa Lastra and Rodrigo Olivares-Caminal at the launch of the Sovereign Debt Forum

People

Academic Directors

Founding Directors

Affiliated Scholars

Rosa Lastra, Rhoda Weeks-Brown and Anna Gelpern at the Sovereign Debt Forum

Selected Events

  • The Sovereign Debt Forum Launch took place at the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC on 21 October 2019, in conjunction with the Annual Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank. The program - organized by SDF Academic Co-Directors Anna Gelpern and Rosa Lastra together with IMF General Counsel Rhoda Weeks-Brown - featured remarks by Forum directors, affiliated scholars, officials from member universities, international financial institutions, the African Legal Support Facility, and the Netherlands Ministry of Finance. In addition, Official Consultative Group members representing the governments of France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States took part in the launch, along with a wide range of academics, civil society representatives, financial market participants, law practitioners, and policy makers.
  • A glass front of an office building with a purple bubble over the image which reads 'Sovereign Debt Forum presents a webinar on: How to manage the coming sovereign debt crisis'Watch now: How to Manage the Coming Sovereign Debt Crisis. On 10 June 2020, Sovereign Debt Forum experts and policy officials from the IMF and the World Bank consider the rising tide of debt distress, further aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and review historical precedents, legal and policy options for managing the crisis in low- and middle-income economies.
  • The Fourth Interdisciplinary Sovereign Debt Research and Management Conference (DebtCon4) is scheduled to take place in September 2020 at the European University Institute. Format changes to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic will be announced in June 2020. Past DebtCon conferences have featured keynote remarks by finance ministers and central bank governors, research presentations by leading scholars and practitioners in law, economics, finance, history, sociology and anthropology, and panel discussions of pressing policy challenges, from climate change to financial technology.

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