Sovereign Debt and Vulture Funds

Eugenia Caracciolo-Drudis[1]

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To dismiss the role of vulture funds in the international sovereign debt process is to fundamentally oversimplify the sovereign debt process and misrepresent borrowers (i.e. sovereigns) and creditors (i.e. banks; private equity houses; governments; trusts) as mutually exclusive in their status of victimhood. This can be illustrated by the 2001 Argentinian financial crisis whereby it is to mischaracterise vulture funds and the Argentinian socio-political situation as causes of victimisation. Rather, they are effects of a larger cause: the current institutional framework governing the sovereign debt restructuring process. For the purposes of this essay, the current institutional framework is defined in terms of its legal features: the nature of the contractual debt relationship between parties and the international legal structure governing sovereign debt restructuring (SDR).

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The International Criminal Court and the Justice versus Peace Debate

Natalia Kubesch[1]

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Critics of the International Criminal Court (ICC) have long considered it to be an impediment to peace negotiations and regional stability.[2] Focusing in particular on the ICC’s intervention in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) they have contended that prospects of prosecution risk jeopardising fragile peace talks, thus prolonging or even intensifying violent conflicts.[3]

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Explaining the EU’s Ineffectiveness as an International Actor in Countering Terrorism

Rhea Franke[1]

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Since the terror attacks on 9/11, the European Union (EU) has enacted an ever increasing number of counterterrorism (CT) policies, in a continuous attempt to ‘add value’ to this policy area. The following essay will critically evaluate how far the EU has been effective as an international actor in CT and whether this can be explained by neo-functionalism. I argue that even though there have been some positive developments, especially post-Lisbon Treaty, there are clear limits to integration in this area since member States (MS) are often unwilling to give up power, rendering EU-level CT policy largely ineffective. It is asserted that the theoretical assumptions of neo-functionalism largely fail to explain the lack of integration in CT.

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Brexit Referendum: An Incomplete Verdict

C Penny Tridimas[1] and George Tridimas[2]

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The purpose of this paper is to use the insights of collective choice theory to examine the format and outcome of the Brexit Referendum. It is argued, first that the question asked by the Referendum was incomplete for it failed to address the choice between “Hard” and “Soft” Brexit resulting in a deficiency of legitimacy. Second, this observation gives rise to the question of the actor who can remedy the deficiency, either the electorate in an additional referendum on the form of Brexit, or Parliament in an active role in negotiations.

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Brexit and Free Movement of People: Frameworks and Legal Bases of Possible Migration Controls

Brexit and Free Movement of People: The Frameworks and Legal Bases of Possible Migration Control

Zuzanna Bobowiec[1]

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Much of the public debate after the Brexit vote has concentrated on the apparent incompatibility of policies limiting migration and the UK’s continued access to the single market. Indeed, the principle of the free movement of people has repeatedly been described as a paramount principle within the European four freedoms, and it has been widely accepted that any of the UK’s future participation in the single market would be contingent upon its acceptance of all four of them. On the other hand, some of the EU officials have hinted at possible limitations to free movement, even within the current frameworks of the EU.[2] This, however, has led many to question what forms such migration controls may take. One possibility that has been discussed was putting ‘an emergency brake’ on the incoming migrants (as opposed to the brake on the social benefits access for arriving migrants as negotiated by David Cameron before the vote). Detailed proposals have been put forward by the Institute for Public Policy Research suggesting that the brake could be applied, for instance, if the influx of EU migration meets a certain quota, if there is clear evidence of downward pressure on wages in particular sectors, or if the proportion of EU migrants in certain areas reaches a specified level.[3]

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Brexit, the Good Friday Agreement and the Northern Ireland Act 1998

Lucas Nacif[1]

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Following the ‘Brexit’ referendum a contentious issue that has arisen is the impact that the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union (EU) will have on the devolved regions, particularly Northern Ireland and Scotland, (who each voted to ‘remain’). A cross-party group in Northern Ireland and Raymond McCord, a local activist, have brought judicial review proceedings to the High Court in Belfast[2] regarding the legality of the Prime Minister exercising her prerogative power to invoke Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU). They were also allowed the right to a hearing before the United Kingdom (UK) Supreme Court following the High Court judgment in Belfast. The objective of this article is to analyse the reasons why there are constitutional implications leaving the European Union that affect the devolution settlement in Northern Ireland. This article will also reflect upon the judgment of McCord’s (Raymond) Application[3] and the submissions made by the counsel for the appellants and the respondent in the UK Supreme Court, since, at the time of writing, the ruling from the Supreme Court is yet to be published.

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A Threat to Human Rights in Europe – the Refugee Crisis

Anna Watkinson[1]

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Upholding and protecting human rights is the mark of a modern liberal democratic society. Yet, the recent flow to Europe of a significant number of refugees fleeing armed conflict or looking for a better life has tested this long-held view. Questions can be raised about the moral, economic and political issues regarding the treatment of refugees, the sacrifices that domestic nationals are prepared to make, the rule of law and international cooperation. More modestly, the present essay inquires how far the refugee crisis strains the application of human rights protection both in respects of the refugees, EU and third country nationals (TCN).

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The Single Transferable Vote and the Need for Electoral Reform in the UK: Is the System too Complex?

Christopher Banks[1]

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Like the UK’s future relationship with the EU, electoral reform threatens to be an issue in British politics that will not go away. In the 2011 Alternative Vote (AV) Referendum, the UK voted by 68% against replacing the first-past-the-post (FPTP) system with AV. Yet, the prediction of Matthew Elliott, the victorious director of the ‘No’(pro-FPTP) campaign, that the decisive result would “settle the debate over changing our electoral system for the next generation”[2], appears to have been slightly premature. Just a few months ago it was back on the agenda in Parliament, through an Early Day Motion proposed by Chuka Umunna that called on the government to “introduce a system of proportional representation”.[3] While Early Day Motions are historically ineffective ways of actually forcing legislation through Parliament, the wide-ranging support that it received from across parties indicates that, at the very least, Elliott was wrong in assuming the issue would simply disappear. Yet despite the continuing calls for a change to the UK’s electoral system, political discussion rarely progresses to the stage of considering viable alternatives. In this piece, I will examine the Single Transferable Vote (STV), one of the alternatives to the FPTP system. In doing so, I will, first give an assessment of the need to alter the current system, in order to establish the aims that should be considered when deciding on the most effective electoral system for the UK. Applying these aims to the STV, I argue it would be the most suitable electoral system to guarantee both an increased degree of proportionality and maintain direct accountability of all Members of Parliament to the electorate.

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Two of English Private Law’s Anachronistic Remnants of a Bygone Misogynistic Era

Nicolás Schuscheim[1]

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As a result of England’s common law system, until a factual scenario is tried in the higher courts of the judicial hierarchy, or until Parliament legislates, the law remains unchanged. This means that in some obscure areas, there is no applicable legislation restricting what citizens, and the government, may or may not do; the concept of residual liberty.[2] This also means that, in some areas where Parliament legislated centuries ago, no legislation has amended, repealed, or complemented those archaic statutes. The law tends to be a good indicator of social and cultural norms of the time of its enactment, but as such, it is faced with the challenge of adapting to new sociocultural environments. For the purposes of this article, we will focus on the patriarchal remnants of the private law, beyond the ambits of criminal or family law. As such, this article will examine two scenarios of the sort: (1) undue influence in the case of providing surety for a bank and (2) the presumption of advancement on a gift.

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The Hegelian Dialectics of Punk

Melanie Sabbah[1]

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By the summer of 1976, the music which had been the driving force and epitome of the 1960’s utopian vision and revolutionary-minded social and political protest, appeared to have become an out of touch industry, disconnected from everyday reality. Against this backdrop, punk unleashed its unfurling rebellious energy, and “created moral panic” before quickly “degenerating into a freak show for the voyeuristic”.[2] A quintessentially counter-cultural movement characterised by the downright rejection of conformity, punk’s youthful energy is a product and legacy of rich cultural and philosophical traditions. In an attempt to understand and learn from such a movement, philosophical analysis emerges as an unusual, albeit effective, method. Punk is an archetypal and particularly visually distinctive example of enduring behaviour in cultural trends. It is with reference to Hegel’s exposition of Dialectics, bearing in mind the particular function Art occupies in his philosophical system, that I shall seek to explain and understand punk. Further, it is through the lens of punk that I shall seek to best understand the operation of Hegel’s dialectics and the timeless relevance and presence of punk as cultural-defying attitude.

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