Debts and Taxes

By way of departure from a popular proverb, one could say that there is nothing certain but debt and taxes. Or, nothing but sovereign debt crises and unjust or at least questionable taxation. This research project combines both aspects in a series of individual projects. The overarching goal of these projects is to develop legal principles which allow managing power differences within society and among states in order to contain a global capitalist economy within the four corners of democratic decision-making. Those prinicples include sustainability (debt and budget sustainability), democratic ownership, and human rights.

The PhD project of Grigory Pustovit is concerned with the role of trustees in sovereign debt restructuring.

Matthias Goldmann was a member of the UNCTAD working group on a sovereign debt workout mechanism and has worked with domestic and international institutions.


Key publications

"Sovereign Debt Restructuring and International Law" (Youtube Video) - Max Planck Lecture Series on Sovereign Debt, Prof. Robert Howse and Dr. Matthias Goldmann, Luxembourg, 26 October 2016.

Goldmann, Matthias, and Grigoriy Pustovit: The Return of Public Interests in Sovereign Debt Disputes - an Empirical Analysis. Powerpoint presentation (2017) available here.

Goldmann, Matthias, "Freihandelsabkommen und Steuergerechtigkeit: eine menschenrechtliche Perspektive", 21 MenschenRechtsMagazin (2016 (2017)) 115-128.

Special Issue: The Incremental Approach to Sovereign Debt Restructuring. Yale Journal of International Law Online 41 (2016), 1-261 (with Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky). Available here. See also the symposium kindly hosted by Völkerrechtsblog on the incremental approach to sovereign debt restructuring in January 2017.

Sovereign Debt Sustainability as a Principle of Public International Law: An Incremental Approach to Sovereign Debt Restructuring. Yale Journal of International Law Online 41 (2016), 13-43 (with Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky). Available here.

Putting your Faith in Good Faith: A Principled Strategy for Smoother Sovereign Debt Workouts. Yale Journal of International Law Online 41 (2016) 117-140. Available here.

TTIP and Human Rights: The Need to Fight Harmful Tax Practices. Justice Everywhere, 12 July 2016, available here.

Human Rights and Sovereign Debt Workouts, in: Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, Jernej Letnar Černič (eds.), Making Sovereign Financing and Human Rights Work. Hart, Oxford 2014, 79-100.

Staatsverschuldung und Entwicklung, in: Philipp Dann, Stefan Kadelbach, Markus Kaltenborn (eds.), Entwicklung und Recht. Nomos, Baden-Baden 2014, 377-431.

On the Functions and Legal Status of Principles: The Move towards Rules and Transparency in Fiscal Policy as Examples, in: Carlos Esposito, Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, Yuefen Li (eds.), Sovereign Financing and International Law. Oxford University Press 2013, 113-133. Abstract available here.

Sovereign Debt Restructurings as Exercises of International Public Authority: Towards a Decentralized Sovereign Insolvency Law, in: Carlos Esposito, Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, Yuefen Li (eds.), Sovereign Financing and International Law. Oxford University Press 2013, 39-70 (with Armin von Bogdandy). Abstract available here.

Responsible Sovereign Lending and Borrowing: The View from Domestic Jurisdictions. A Comparative Survey. Commissioned by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), 2012, available here.