GLOBE Policy Brief Series
The GLOBE Policy Brief Series aims to provide short, policy-relevant briefings on issues of public interest and contemporary concerns within GLOBE’s thematic areas written by GLOBE Centre colleagues. The series supports the GLOBE Centre’s objective of disseminating our academic research in accessible and relevant manner to broader audiences, including policymakers, the media, civil society groups and the general public.
Apart from our Policy Brief Series, GLOBE is also proud to host Briefing Notes. The GLOBE Centre Briefing Notes are shorter documents making a specific policy recommendation and connected to a particular impact-related or public engagement activity undertaken by a member of GLOBE.
Sovereign Debt and Low-Income Countries: Dealing with Private Creditors
Dr Stephen Connelly Law School, University of Warwick
Dr Karina Patricio Ferreira Lima School of Law, University of Leeds
Professor Celine Tan Law School, University of Warwick
Rising interest rates, the economic shocks of COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine are
adding to the financial challenges faced by low-income countries (LICs). Most LICs are either at high risk of or are already in debt distress. A key area of concern is the lack of appropriate mechanisms to deal with the debt owed by sovereigns to private creditors.
As most debt owed by LICs to private creditors is governed by English law, the UK is well-placed to address the sovereign debt crisis in those countries through domestic legal responses. This brief outlines three key legislative initiatives that may be considered by the
UK Parliament to mitigate the crisis and ensure private creditor participation in
sovereign debt restructurings.
Assessing the role of digital finance for gender equalityLink opens in a new window
Dr Serena Natile Law School, University of Warwick
Digital financial technology, or fintech, facilitates access to financial services for those
excluded from mainstream finance. Digital financial inclusion has become a central
policy tool to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including gender equality (SDG 5). Access to digital financial services is said to provide women living in
poverty or on a low income with autonomy, safety, and entrepreneurial opportunities.
While these services have included more female users in the formal financial system,
they perpetuate the gendered structural causes of financial exclusion and can create additional vulnerabilities, especially for women at the lower end of the global income distribution. This policy brief examines the proposed benefits of digital financial services
for gender equality regarding accessibility, security and autonomy, and assesses
them against the potential risks.
Towards feminist recovery plans for COVID-19 and beyondLink opens in a new window
Dr Serena Natile Law School, University of Warwick
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated the inequalities embedded in our economic and legal systems, but has also provided the opportunity to rethink the values and logics governing these systems. Feminist activists and organisations across the world have contributed to this debate with various proposals to amplify the voices of those living at the margins of the economy, who have little or no power to influence policymaking, but who have been at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19. This policy brief outlines five key elements for post-pandemic feminist recovery plans and offers recommendations useful at national and transnational levels.
The UK's International Human Rights Obligations during COVID-19Link opens in a new window Briefing Note
Professor John Harrington, Cardiff University & Dr Sharifah Sekalala Law School, University of Warwick
Measures taken in response to a pandemic, even if nationally-focussed, inevitably have implications in other countries. This poses a distinct set of human rights issues for the UK. Our contribution is based on setting out international law which is binding on the UK with a particular focus on the right to health, rather than more debateable ethical or political claims. We clearly state the UK's three main extraterritorial obligations with respect to the right to health and evaluate the UK’s performance at the global level with reference to these norms.
COVID-19: Suspending Debt Service for Indebted CountriesLink opens in a new window Briefing Note
Dr Stephen Connelly, Dr Celine Tan, Christos Tassis Law School, University of Warwick & Karina Patricio Law School, Durham University
This Policy Note outlines a proposal for a statutory stay on recovering commercial debt repayments owed by low-income countries to free up resources to combat COVID-19. The proposal enhances the effect of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative committed to by the G20 and Paris Club official creditors and voluntary arrangements of private creditors. The current proposal is time-bound, does not interfere with the underlying contractual rights of parties to the contract and is contingent on the country subject to such claims making a suspension request to the court.
Registering Security at UK Companies HouseLink opens in a new window Briefing Note
Dr Stephen Connelly, Law School, University of Warwick
This briefing note, specially commissioned by Jubilee Debt Campaign, provides an overview of the proposal to publicly register sovereign loans under English law. It is proposed that bilateral sovereign loans governed by English law be publicly registered by lenders. Failure to register a loan will render it unenforceable. Public registration of loans in exchange for enforceability is not new. For example, lenders have always been required to register security for loans, or risk the security being void/unenforceable.
The UK's Policy on the Western Balkans Post-BrexitLink opens in a new window
Dr Andi Hoxhaj, Law School, University of Warwick
UK policy towards the Western Balkans has been tied to the EU enlargement policy since the 1990s. Since the Brexit vote, the UK has been exploring policy alternatives, and in July 2018 the UK Government hosted the 'UK–Western Balkans Summit’. This brief explores potential directions of the UK’s post-Brexit policy towards the Western Balkans, and makes recommendations on how the UK could go beyond security co-operation and provide support for socio-economic development in the Western Balkans to the mutual benefit of both sides. | Press Release.Link opens in a new window
Is My Long-Term Contract Brexit-Proof?Link opens in a new window
Professor Christian Twigg-Flesner, Law School, University of Warwick
Major legal changes and new legislation, as expected after Brexit, can affect the performance of long-term contracts. Yet, English contract law provides limited assistance to contracting parties faced with new laws that affect their contracts. As a result, policy-makers and legislators need to identify the implications of new laws for existing long-term contracts, and consider introducing provisions specifying the date from which new laws take effect. Moreover, contracting parties need to understand the impact of these legal changes on their existing contracts, and legal advisers should advise clients to include enhanced force majeure clauses in their contracts. | Press Release.Link opens in a new window
The Risks of Using Blended Finance in DevelopmentLink opens in a new window
Dr Celine Tan, Law School, University of Warwick
Blended finance instruments are promoted as a means of scaling up resources to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by using public and philanthropic resources to mobilise private capital for financing global public goods. This brief explores how the expansion of blended finance without consideration of broader regulatory and governance implications can undermine sustainable development in four ways: fragmenting the aid architecture, weakening accountability and community safeguards, undermining the ownership of policies by countries and communities, and creating new risks in the international financial system. | Press Release.Link opens in a new window
The Future of UK-EU Corporate MobilityLink opens in a new window
Dr Stephen Connelly, Law School, University of Warwick
Businesses often incorporate as companies to benefit from separate corporate personality and limited liability for shareholders. The EU right to freedom of establishment allows companies duly incorporated in one Member State to be recognised and enjoy these benefits in any other Member State without question. The UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU removes this right from UK companies and other EU corporates in the UK. There is a material risk that post- Brexit UK companies operating in the EU could cease to be recognised, with serious consequences for shareholders and creditors. | Press Release.Link opens in a new window
Brexit: Mitigating Uncertainty in Intellectual Property Law and PolicyLink opens in a new window
Dr Ben Farrand, Law School, University of Warwick
Intellectual property (IP) protections are essential to British creative and innovative sectors. Through the EU, the UK has unrestricted access to its biggest market for IP-intensive exports, influence over international standards as part of a major trade bloc, and certainty in its legal relations with other states. Brexit puts these benefits at risk and limits the UK’s ability to diverge from EU standards. This brief proposes policy options to mitigate these risks, considering four models of UK-EU cooperation | News Article.Link opens in a new window
Brexit: Preserving the UK's Future Success as a Service EconomyLink opens in a new window
Dr Andreas Kokkinis, Law School, University of Warwick
Apart from ensuring tariff-free trade in goods, the UK’s EU membership removes regulatory barriers to trade and investment. If Brexit results in the UK losing full access to the Single Market, financial transactions, business activity, and investment will be seriously affected. UK companies, especially banks, will have difficulty expanding and offering their services across the Channel, which could motivate firms to relocate. The London Stock Exchange will be less attractive for European companies and investors, and fewer multinational companies will locate their European headquarters in London. This brief examines three policy options to mitigate these risks. | Press Release.Link opens in a new window
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