Central banks & international law


Conference organized by

Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences

Department of Private law and PluriCourts at the University of Oslo

Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne

Centre Universitaire de Norvège à Paris


Monday 5, 14.00 – 18.00, Amphithéâtre IIB

Tuesday 6, 09.15 – 13.00, Salle 6

Centre Panthéon, 12 place du Panthéon, 75005 Paris

The conference will be held in English

Due to the limited capacity of room 6, registrations to attend the June 6th panels on person are now closed. People who register now for the June 6th panels will be able to follow them on Zoom.

Background for the workshop:

The central bank is the normally highest monetary authority of monetary of a state. In the last decades, central bank policymaking has predominantly operated within a specific framework: central bank independence as the institutional set-up; stability as the primary target of its monetary policy; interest rates as the operational tools. Traditionally, the choice of monetary policy is often considered to be at the core of states' sovereignty and therefore traditionally little regulated in international law. It is therefore tempting to assume that internet law tendencies do not influence central bank's evolving policies and legal framework.

However, the challenges that central banks are asked to deal with are increasingly of a global nature. In response to the global financial crisis starting in 2007, even more so under the current global covid-19 pandemic crisis, as well as in response to the ongoing climate crisis, we see that central banks across a vast number of jurisdictions have gained an expanding role in crisis management. Price instability and financial instability – whether influenced by reckless subprime loan practices, hurricanes or global pandemics or climate crisis related events such as hurricanes, or wars – are global in nature and have to be dealt with globally through cooperation.

This conference on central banks and international law will seek to shed light on how international law shapes central bank policies and central banks shapes international law, including whether central banks are a clear and consistent concept under international law. It will discuss more traditional topics on central banks and sovereign immunity and topics of an increasing relevance such as sanctions against central banks. It will also explore how the expansive role of central banks is influenced by the availability of other viable crisis resolution measures in international law related to in particular the climate crisis and sovereignty debt crisis.

The conference is a part of the research project Central Banks’ expanded role in financial markets. The project is a collaboration between the faculty of law at the University of Oslo and Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences. The project and the conference benefit from funding from the Finance Market Fund (managed by the Norwegian Research Council). The conference also benefits from generous funding from Centre Universitaire de Norvège à Paris – CUNP.



Day 1: June 5th – 14.00-18.00, Amphitéâtre IIB

14.00-14.30 Welcome and introduction, by Astrid Iversen, Mads Andenæ, Paolo Palchetti

14.30-16.30 Panel 1: Immunity and Central Banks

Moderator: Geir Ulfstein, University of Oslo

The general regime of the immunity of central bank, Christian Tams, Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne / University of Glasgow

Diverging development of rules of immunity of central bank and sovereign debt related assets), Astrid Iversen, Inland Norway University of applied Sciences/ University of Oslo

Sovereign wealth funds as integrated parts of central banks and immunity, Régis Bismuth, Sciences Po

16.00-16.30 Coffee break – Hall Saint‑Jacques

16.30-18.00 Panel 2: Sanctions and central banks

Moderator: Charlotte Beaucillon, Université de Lille

The role of central banks in implementation of financial sanctions, Chiara Zilioli, Director General Legal Services at the European Central Bank

Central banks as targets of sanctions (the targeted sanctions regime & proportionality, freezing and confiscation of central bank assets as solidarity measure, sanctions and immunity), Daniel Franchini, University of Sheffield

Indirect sanctions - recognition of government and freezing and seizing of central bank assets, Paolo Palchetti, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne

Central banks in investor-State litigation, issues of jurisdiction, standing and attribution, Filippo Fontanelli, University of Edinburg

Day 2: June 6th – 9.15-13.00, Salle 6

09.15-11.00 Panel 3: Informal international law making and central banks

Moderator: Geneviève Bastid-Burdeau, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne

The international legal infrastructure of central bank swap lines, Aliénor Nina Burghartz, University of Zurich

Network for greening of the financial system and global administrative law, Jan‑Henrik Hinselmann, Göettingen Universität  

The emergence of a new global monetary system: the Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) and the law-making of a new type of money, Camila Villard Duran, ESSCA France

International Implications of CBDCs’, Cristos Hadjiemmanuil, Universty of Piraeus

11.00-11.30 Coffee break – Hall Saint‑Jacques

11.30-13.00 Panel 4: Complying with and implementing international obligations

Moderator: Cristiane Derani, Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina

Capital control in international law, Michael Waibel, Universität Wien

Central Banking and Sustainable Development: Perspectives on Swap Lines and Debt Crisis Resolution Mechanisms in International Law, Karina Patricio Lima, University of Leeds

Climate obligations: central banks’ implementation of international climate obligations in monetary policy and financial stability decisions (potential for climate change litigation), Javier Solana, University of Glasgow

Central banks and international anti-corruption and white washing obligations, Nicola Bonucci, Partner at Paul Hastings, former Director for Legal Affairs for the OECD

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