19 Law Text Culture 166 (2015)
Sovereign Debts: Global Colonialism, Austerity and Neo-Liberal Assimilation

handle is hein.journals/lwtexcu19 and id is 170 raw text is: 













    Sovereign Debts: Global Colonialism,
    Austerity and Neo-Liberal Assimilation


                 Maria Giannacopoulos*


   We ran this country, then those first boat people come and they never
   went away and they literally took over this country through force of
   arms and everything else that happens through colonialism and as my
   friend and sister Mary always says they got a country for free. They
   never paid a thing. They made themselves rich out of our country. They
   owe us much more than they could ever hope to repay and they need
   to start to come to terms with that.'
What does it mean for a sovereign nation to be in debt? What does
it mean to be sovereign in the context of debt? Which debts must
be paid and which debts can be disavowed? What is the role of law,
in particular the High Court of Australia, in rendering Australian
sovereign debt invisible? Why has the notion of'sovereign debt'become
synonymous with countries like Greece while other sovereign debts
remain invisible? In this article I interconnect the seemingly unrelated
debt crises of Greece and Australia. I take a critical legal approach to
the effaced debt scenario of colonial Australia and the imperialising
economic order in contemporary Greece in order to extend, in cultural
and racial terms, the discussions possible on sovereign debt.
   While Greece is currently synonymous with sovereign debt
crisis, the foundational sovereign debt crisis in Australia remains
unrepresentable. I revisit Mabo and build on Penny Pether's important
critique of the High Court as a colonial institution, in order to argue


Law Text Culture Vol 19 2015

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