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Friday, 16 February 2024 - 1.00pm
Location: 
Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, Berkowitz/Finley Lecture Hall

This lecture is a hybrid event. There is a sandwich lunch at 12.30 pm in the Old Library at the Centre. All lecture attendees welcome.

Register here if attending online 

Pre-reading material: Kristalina Georgieva and Rhoda Weeks-Brown: ‘The IMF’s Evolving Role Within a Constant Mandate’ (2023) 26 Journal of International Economic Law 17-29

Lecture summary: This lecture considers what Josef Kunz termed “swings of the pendulum” in international monetary and financial law and the formal and informal institutions in these related fields. International monetary law exploded in importance after the Second World War with the creation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and a global system of managed exchange rates. With the collapse of the Bretton Woods system in 1971 and a decline in capital controls, the IMF evolved from a dominant institution into a peer of central banks and private markets, providing surveillance of the “non-system” of floating exchange rates and assisting in responses to financial crises.

By contrast, international financial law, which was of limited importance during the Bretton Woods era, has become a major soft law force in the global financial sector since the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision was created in 1974. The dichotomy between profit maximization and systemic risk at the core of global finance today is overseen and guided by the technocrats of the Basel Committee, the Financial Stability Board and other institutions of international financial law.

Today, the pendulums of international monetary and financial law may be reversing again. Armed conflict, rising authoritarianism, growing fragmentation of the global financial system, and a revival of capital controls and other restrictions on capital flows could reinvigorate international monetary law and the IMF. This institution has reimagined itself multiple times already while staying true to its original mandate of safeguarding monetary stability. 

Michael Waibel is a professor of international law at the University of Vienna. His teaching and writing focus on international law, international economic law, sovereign debt and international dispute settlement. He received the Deák Prize of the American Society of International Law, the Book Prize of the European Society of International Law and a Leverhulme Prize for his research. He is Co-General Editor of the ICSID Reports (with Jorge Viñuales) and Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of International Economic Law (with Kathleen Claussen and Sergio Puig).

 

Chair: Dr Markus Gehring

 

The Friday Lunchtime Lecture series is kindly supported by Cambridge University Press & Assessment.

 

Lauterpacht Centre for International Law

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