My Critique of Argentina’s Weak Legal Arguments in the ARA Libertad Case

by Julian Ku

I have a op-ed today providing a fuller version of my critique of Argentina’s legal arguments over the ARA Libertad.  (It’s worth noting that Argentina is actually heading toward yet another financial crisis spurred by a recent New York court decision, which I didn’t have time to incorporate into this piece.)

Last month, a court in Ghana detained the ARA Libertad, an Argentine naval training vessel, until Argentina guarantees repayment for a portion of its defaulted government debt.  This minor legal action has now exploded into an international incident.  Argentina has accused Ghana of violating international treaties, sought the intervention of the U.N. Security Council, and suggested that the Ghana courts are facilitating “an act of piracy against a sovereign country by greedy “vulture funds.”  They have also recently sought action by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.

Argentina’s bluster obscures the weakness of their legal position.  The Ghana court’s well-reasoned and thoughtful decision is completely consistent with international law and should be lauded for forcing Argentina to face accountability for its financial impunity.

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