LLAW6260 Law of state immunity and sovereign debt

1.1 Course details

Course code: LLAW6260 / JDOC6260
Course name: Law of State Immunity and Sovereign Debt
Programme offered under: LLM Programme / JD Programme
Semester: Second
Prerequisites: Academic competence in contract law and LLAW6055 Law of International Finance 1
Credit point value: 9 credit
Cap on student numbers: 20

1.2 Course description

SISD is a highly topical course intended principally for full–time LLM(CFL) candidates, and deals with conflicts arising between public international and private intentional law in cases of distressed foreign currency sovereign debt. The course will also be of interest to JD, MCL and LLM(CR) candidates with appropriate interests in private and public international law.

The course will address the results of two contemporary developments, the widespread adoption of the doctrine of restricted sovereign immunity in the engagement of states with commercial actors; second, a long–term transition in foreign currency borrowing by central governments from being evidenced by inter–state treaties to private law contracts.

These changes have contributed to increasing conflicts between official interests and diffuse creditor groups in cases involving delinquent or distressed debt; by protracted creditor litigation, for example involving Argentina, Greece, Ukraine and Venezuela; an erosion of engagement among previously–cooperative commercial creditors; and a lack of international consensus in dealing with the odious debts of impoverished states in political flux.

The course will examine all aspects of these issues, in a seminar setting with a high–degree of class participation through weekly discussions of specific course topics, supported by guided readings and issues introduced each week by class members.

1.3 Course teachers

Name E-mail address Office Consultation
Course convenor Paul Lejot plejot@hku.hk CCT 304 Mon–Fri afternoons by appointment

2.1 Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) for this course

CLO 1 Understand critical and conflicting issues of current commercial practice and international law.

CLO 2 Understand and critically assess an example of stress between the expectations of public policy with regard to economically–weakened states, and how public international law is challenged by the use of private law to govern sovereign borrowing.

CLO 3 Apply insights from the course to questions arising in commercial and advisory practices, including contract drafting and multicreditor negotiations.

CLO 4 Understand and interpret the value of accepted rules of bankruptcy or restructuring in complex cross–border workouts.

CLO 5 Critically evaluate aspects of financial sector innovation.

2.2 LLM Programme Learning Outcomes (PLOs) & Programme Learning Outcomes to be achieved in this course

PLO A On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to demonstrate a solid understanding of the body of legal knowledge and the capacity to conduct research on, critically analyse and evaluate legal principles, at a level required to meet the standards and expectations of the legal profession and the community at large.

PLO B On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to apply their legal knowledge and research skills to practical situations or theoretical challenges, and utilise their comparative understanding of the law and its political, social and cultural contexts to provide original and creative insights to legal problems.

PLO C On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to apply the knowledge, lawyering skills and legal reasoning to real and novel situations in life, with a view to resolving issues, problems and disputes within the legal parameters.

PLO D On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to demonstrate the ability to present effectively legal arguments in the professional context, as well as conveying and explaining the law effectively to lay clients and members of the larger community.

PLO E On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to appreciate the underlying moral values of the law and ethics in the profession and the legal system in the broad social, economic, political and cultural contexts: justice, the Rule of Law, and protection of rights and liberties which form the fabrics of a civilised society, and the importance of upholding these values by the legal community.

PLO F On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to develop a strong awareness of social issues and conditions, and utilise analytical abilities and rhetorical advocacy to provide leadership for the betterment of the human community.

CLO 1  ✓  ✓
CLO 2  ✓  ✓
CLO 3  ✓  ✓

3.1 Assessment Summary

Assessment task Due date Weighting Feedback method* Course learning outcomes
Coursework and class participation TBC 40% 2, 5 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Take home exam TBC 60% 1, 5 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
  *Feedback method (to be determined by course teacher)
1 A general course report to be disseminated through Moodle
2 Individual feedback to be disseminated by email / through Moodle
3 Individual review meeting upon appointment
4 Group review meeting
5 In-class verbal feedback

3.2 Assessment Detail

To be advised by course convenor(s).

3.3 Grading Criteria

Please refer to the following link: http://www.law.hku.hk/course/grading-criteria/

4.1 Learning Activity Plan

Seminar 3 hours / week for 12 teaching weeks
Private study time: 9.5 hours / week for 12 teaching weeks

Remarks: the normative student study load per credit unit is 25 ± 5 hours (ie. 150 ± 30 hours for a 6-credit course), which includes all learning activities and experiences within and outside of classroom, and any assessment task and examinations and associated preparations.

4.2 Details of Learning Activities

To be advised by course convenor(s).

5.1 Resources

Core reading list:
  • Paul Lejot, “Sovereign Debt”, International Law, Oxford Bibliographies (2017), DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780199796953-0155 (2017).
  • Qiao Liu, Paul Lejot & Douglas Arner, “Finance in Asia: Markets, Institutions & Regulation”, Routledge (2013).
  • Hazel Fox & Philippa Webb, “The Law of State Immunity”, 3e, Oxford (2015).
Recommended reading list: Further source material will be posted at Moodle

5.2 Links

Please refer to the following link: http://www.law.hku.hk/course/learning-resources/

By the publication of the course profile online, the Faculty deems the student as having been notified of the course requirements.