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Sovereign Default – Do We Need a Legal Procedure?

International conference on a debt restructuring mechanism for European sovereigns on January 13 and January 14, 2012 at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin


The question whether we need a debt restructuring mechanism for sovereigns in order to tackle financial crises efficiently has been discussed in various circles at least over the past 30 years. Discussions, however, focused on developing countries, not on the member states of the European Union. Since Greece’s difficulties to service its debts, Europe’s financial system has been in turmoil too.  Observers of the way how the situation was managed so far come to the conclusion that a prescribed procedure might be helpful for dealing with comparable future crises. After all, it is a well-acknowledged advantage of any legal procedure providing for a structure within a chaotic situation.

International Conference:
“A Debt Restructuring Mechanism for European Sovereigns – Do We Need a Legal Procedure?”

from January 13 until January 14, 2012
at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Senate Hall, Unter den Linden 6, 10117 Berlin


Renowned academics as well as delegates from industry and government will gather at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin to discuss the opportunities and risks the introduction of a debt restructuring mechanism for European sovereigns would bring about.  Surprisingly enough lawyers have so far not yet come up with a solution for how such a procedure should or could look like. The conference shall provide different prolegomena for such an endeavor.

Speakers include:

  • Dr. Wolfgang Schäuble, Federal Minister of Finance (Germany)
  • Prof. Mathias Audit, Université de Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense (France)
  • Prof. Dr. Michael Burda, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Germany)
  • Prof. Dr. Aristides Chiotellis, University of Athens (Greece)
  • Sean Hagan, General Counsel IMF Washington D. C. (United States of America)
  • Prof. Toshiyuki Kono, Kyushu University, Fukuoka (Japan)
  • Prof. Dr. Ernst-Moritz Lipp, Former Chairman of the London Club, Berlin (Germany)
  • Prof. Yves Nouvel, Université Panthéon-Assas, Paris II (France)
  • Prof. Dr. Bettina Nunner-Krautgasser, Universität Graz (Austria)
  • Prof. Ugo Panizza, UNCTAD, Geneva (Switzerland)
  • Hans-Jörg Rudloff, Chairman Barclays’ Investment Banking, London (England)
  • Prof. Dr. Bruno Simma, International Court of Justice, The Hague (The Netherlands)
  • Prof. Alessandro Somma, Università di Ferrara (Italy)
  • Prof. Dr. Ignacio Tirado, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain)
  • Dr. Michael Waibel, Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, Cambridge (England)
  • Prof. Jay Westbrook, University of Texas, Austin (United States of America)
  • Prof. Dr. Christoph G. Paulus, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Germany)


A full agenda is available online at:


Journalists are invited to attend for any or all parts of the conference. To ensure your place please register your interest beforehand with the iir via:

The Institut für Interdisziplinäre Restrukturierung (iir) e. V. was founded in October 2009. Organized autonomously as a registered association, it cooperates closely with Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Its work is committed to optimizing the interests of all stakeholders in the system of German and international Restructuring and Insolvency Law. In cooperation with the Law Faculty of Humboldt-Universität, the iir seeks to improve considerably the interaction of all stakeholders in insolvency proceedings – especially those previous to insolvency. The emphasis of the Institute’s work is placed on the interdisciplinary collaboration of political, juridical, economic, fiscal and technical disciplines. The iir provides a platform for exchange and interaction of experts, also at international level.


Prof. Dr. Christoph G. Paulus, LL. M. (Berkeley)
Institut für Interdisziplinäre Restrukturierung (iir) e. V.
Unter den Linden 10
10117 Berlin
Phone: +49 30 4606055-0