Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies Working Paper No. HEIDWP02-2020
Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva
The doctrine of state succession requires that governments honor the international commitments of their predecessors. Even if a dictator borrows to oppress his own citizens, future generations are required to service the debts and commitments contracted by the dictator. This paper starts by briefly describing possible exceptions to this doctrine by focusing on war and hostile debts. Next, the paper reviews the literature on odious debt and discusses two proposals that could address this issue by using domestic legal principles.