Argentina's Legal and Technical Secretary to the Presidency Carlos Zannini is overseeing a group of experts in international law as they draft the suit the government of President Cristina Fernandez will file against US Judge Thomas Griesa’s ruling on full repayment to holdout bondholders at International Court of Justice in the Hague, according to Noticias Argentinas-
The Argentine government will reportedly emphasize its rights as a member of the UN, the International Monetary Fund and the Organization of American States.
With international legal action in the works, deputy Economy Minister Emmanuel Alvarez Agis said on Sunday that the government will insist on the removal of lawyer Daniel Pollack as mediator in the lingering dispute with the holdouts. Kicillof and Agis argue the mediator has acted subserviently to the interests of the plaintiffs.
“We are going to make the formal request and we will see what the judge responds,” the official told a Buenos Aires radio. He reiterated that “more than being a mediator, Pollack has put on the vultures’ shirt, because he’s not demanding anything from them.”
The Argentine government’s lawyers last Friday requested that Pollack be removed, but the motion was denied. Argentina will nonetheless present a written request.
Argentina will thus refuse to accept Griesa’s ruling as the final instance of legal recourse, and will challenge his pari passu ruling imminently in the Hague.
International law dictates that if a sentence by a country’s judicial system affects another state, the dispute can be brought before the international tribunal in the Netherlands.
Taking the case before the International Court of Justice wouldn’t be straightforward.
“The states concerned must also have access to the court and have accepted its jurisdiction, in other words they must consent to the court’s considering the dispute in question. This is a fundamental principle governing the settlement of international disputes, states being sovereign and free to choose the methods of resolving their disputes,” the tribunal’s website reads.
The Barack Obama administration would therefore have to accept subordinating a decision by the US Supreme Court to the international jurisdiction of The Hague, a move that pundits consider unlikely considering the United States did not file an amicus brief and maintained a relatively neutral position during the pari passu court battle.
A further drawback is that credit rating agencies would extend the duration of their vetting of Argentine securities under the label of “selective default.”
This would delay the return to international credit markets the government had seemingly sought in resolving pending issues such as compensating Repsol for the expropriation of its majority stake in YPF.