US refuses to recognize UN court jurisdiction on Argentina’s debt

US refuses to recognize UN court jurisdiction on Argentina’s debt (RT, Aug 9, 2014):

Washington has refused to allow the UN International Court of Justice (IJC) to hear Argentina’s claims that US court decisions on the country’s debt have violated Argentina’s sovereignty.

“We do not view the ICJ as an appropriate venue for addressing Argentina’s debt issues, and we continue to urge Argentina to engage with its creditors to resolve remaining issues with bondholders,” the US State Department told Reuters in an email.

The State Department sent an email with the same content to one of Argentina’s leading newspapers, the Clarin.

Argentina complained against Washington’s decisions on its debt to the International Court of Justice in The Hague on Thursday.

But according to existing norms, Buenos Aires needs Washington to voluntarily accept the ICJ’s jurisdiction for the proceedings to begin.

The US withdrew from compulsory jurisdiction back in 1986 after the UN court ruled that America’s covert war against Nicaragua was in violation of international law.

Since then, Washington accepts International Court of Justice jurisdiction only on a case-by-case basis.

On Friday, US District Judge Thomas Griesa, who oversees Argentina’s legal battle with hedge funds, threatened that a contempt of court order may be implemented.

Griesa said it will be put forward if Argentina continues to “falsely” insist that it has made a required debt payment on restructured sovereign bonds.

The warning caused confusion, as the judge didn’t specify who will face the punishment – Argentina or its lawyers.

It will be quite difficult to sanction the Argentinean state, as US federal law largely protects the assets of foreign governments held in the US, said Michael Ramsey, a professor of international law at the University of San Diego.

“You can’t put Argentina in jail, so I’m not sure what he’d have in mind besides monetary sanctions,” Ramsey said.

Later on Friday, Argentina’s economy ministry issued another statement, accusing the US judge of “clear partiality in favor of the vulture funds.”

“Judge Griesa continues contradicting himself and the facts by saying that Argentina did not pay,” the statement said.

Previously, Argentina announced the restructuring of 93 percent of its 2001 debt, but creditors holding the other seven percent of the bonds demanded full payment and initiated a legal battle.

A New York court ruled that Argentina had to pay $1.33 billion to the hedge funds, blocking the transfer of $590 million that Buenos Aires forwarded in order to cover its restructured debt.

The judge said Argentina had to start talks with the lenders that didn’t approve the debt restructuring and negotiate to postpone the payment with those who did agree.

With lenders unable to receive payment, international regulators and rating agencies announced Argentina’s ‘selective’ default.

1 thought on “US refuses to recognize UN court jurisdiction on Argentina’s debt

  1. The US is sliding downhill very quickly. Every time there is a ruling anywhere the fool leaders don’t like, they claim it isn’t legal. Everyone in the world is sick of the US…..even it’s own citizens. The more we slide towards third world status, the more disgusting our leaders and their decisions become.
    Self serving isn’t being leader, it is being school yard bully. And, the world is sick of it. This is why much of the world has dumped the dollar, and why the rest will join them. It is the only weapon they have, walk away….and they are using it.
    Hugo Chavez was crafty. He knew the one way to undercut the US was quietly and mindfully, and the advent of the electronic currency, the Sucre, was the beginning of the end for US bullying.
    He saw what happened to Iraq when their leader spoke out to return to gold as the world reserve standard…….so he did it very quietly with the South American Trade Alliance, for the first time, member nations could trade with each other using their own currencies leaving the dollar out. The Sucre translated the value of each currency at the time of transaction….technology has rendered the need for a world reserve currency obsolete.
    The South American Trade Alliance was small, and it flew under US radar. Russia and China watched carefully, and in November of that same year, they followed suit. Since then, they have recruited better than half the world.
    The major hold out is the Euro. Switzerland isn’t part of the Euro….and they joined with the Eastern BRICS. Everyone is abandoning the US ship, especially once it became clear they could not and would not repay Germany half their gold. That is the biggest blunder yet.
    So, to divert the fools in America, and feed his supporters, Obama bombs Iraq again, and just like his predecessor, claims it is humanitarian. How sick and Orwellian.
    Were it not for the fact we will soon be non-existent, I would worry about Orwellian dictatorships, and all the dreadful things they have invented. But, they can do nothing about Fukushima, the Pacific is nearly dead, sea creatures are now in our bay here in San Francisco……5200 miles away……in a matter of months, people will be dying like flies, and none of this will matter much.
    It is up to people with intelligence to plan their own self deliverance. If they don’t, they will fry from the inside out….a horrible death. I don’t plan to die that way, and I am sure there are many others like me.

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