From Iceland — Doctor of International Law: Iceland Has "No Clear Obligation" to Pay Icesave

Doctor of International Law: Iceland Has “No Clear Obligation” to Pay Icesave

Published January 11, 2010

A postdoctoral fellow from the University of Cambridge has argued that Iceland’s legal obligation to pay Icesave would face considerable difficulty to prove in a court of law.
Dr. Michael Waibel of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, writing in a letter to the Financial Times, says in part, “The UK would likely face substantial obstacles in court. The chance of winning is no more than 60 per cent, and even then the UK is very unlikely to obtain more than in this settlement.”
Waibel continues that a prolonged legal battle “is in nobody’s interest,” and that both the UK and the Netherlands need to show a real interest in compromise and fairness.
In closing, he argues that the current loan agreement runs counter to the advice given by former US Secretary of State and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elihu Root: “We must always be careful, and especially so in our relations with the smaller states, that we never propose a settlement which we would not be willing to accept if the situation were reversed.”

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