Battle over Argentina's debts heads to US Supreme Court | Law

Battle over Argentina's debts heads to US Supreme Court

The global reach of the thinking done at UNSW Law might surprise you. When NML Capital took Argentina to the US Supreme Court earlier this year, Professor Ross Buckley was one of only five scholars cited by Argentina. More recently Ross has been interviewed and quoted in an article by USA Today about the case. 

The case involved ‘vulture’ fund NML, a Cayman Islands hedge fund, established to buy distressed Republic debt. NML had bought some $2 billion or so of Argentine debt for cents on the dollar, and then spent years trying to recover the full amount of the debt from Argentina. Argentina’s petition to the US Supreme Court sought to have a Second Circuit decision in the vulture fund’s favour overturned.

The petition presented the question, ‘whether Rule 69(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure permits a United States court to order post-judgment discovery of property of a foreign state that could not be the subject of execution under the FSIA.’

The Second Circuit decision is remarkable because for years courts around the world have been refusing to enforce the claims on NML Capital, and in this case, amicus briefs supporting Argentina’s position were filed by the governments of France, Germany and the United States; and the US court ignored the recommendations of even its own government.

Professor Buckley, an expert in international finance and regulation, was cited with respect to the economic crisis that led to Argentina’s default: “The living standards of over one-half of the Argentine people fell below the poverty line, and over a third could not afford basic food. Children were fainting in class from hunger, regularly. Adults were rioting and breaking into supermarkets, regularly, in search of food. UNICEF Argentina was concerned that stunted growth and reduced mental capacities would be the long-term consequence of this economic crisis for millions of the nation’s children” -- The Bankruptcy of Nations: An idea whose time has come, 43 International Lawyer 1189, 1198 (2009)

Read details, The Republic of Argentina v NML Capital, Ltd.

Also see the article 'Battle over Argentina's debts heads to Supreme Court' in USA Today 

Also view the podcast or download the transcript of 'Vulture funds circle Argentina' - Professor Buckley speaking to Damien Carrick on ABC Radio National's The Law Report.