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Argentina sues US in international tribunal over debt

[JURIST] Argentina initiated legal proceedings [press release, PDF] against the US Thursday in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) [official website] over US interference in the restructuring of Argentina's foreign debt. Argentina contends that the US violated its sovereignty and immunities as a result of judicial decisions adopted by US tribunals concerning the restructuring of the Argentine public debt. No action can be taken in the proceedings unless the US consents to the ICJ's jurisdiction in the case. Last week the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) [official website] announced [press release] that Argentina officially defaulted on its loans.

Argentina has faced a number of legal troubles regarding its foreign debt since its economic collapse in 2001. In June Argentina appealed to the US Supreme Court [official website], but the court refused to hear its appeals, denying certiorari [JURIST report] in two cases: Republic of Argentina v. NML Capital, Ltd. [docket; cert. petition, PDF] and Exchange Bondholder Group v. NML Capital, Ltd. [docket; cert. petition, PDF]. That same day the court ruled in a related case, also named Republic of Argentina v. NML Capital, Ltd. [SCOTUSblog backgrounder; JURIST report], that a hedge fund can subpoena banks for information about Argentina's non-US assets. In an opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia, the court held that no provision in the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) [text, PDF] immunizes a foreign-sovereign judgment debtor from post-judgment discovery of information concerning its extraterritorial assets.

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