Odious

INFORMATION

In international law, odious debt, also known as illegitimate debt, is a legal theory that says that the national debt incurred by a despotic regime should not be enforceable. Such debts are, thus, considered by this doctrine to be personal debts of the regime that incurred them and not debts of the state. In some respects, the concept is analogous to the invalidity of contracts signed under coercion.Despite antecedents dating back to the 1800s and support from diverse fields such as economics, philosophy, political science, history, and law, odious debt is not part of international law; in fact, “[n]o national or international tribunal has ever cited Odious Debt as grounds for invalidating a sovereign obligation.” Instead, international law holds governments strictly liable for all debt incurred by their predecessors.

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