The dynamic of the secondary market for sovereign debt has been affected by the presence of a peculiar category of holders: vulture funds. These funds, specializing in purchasing the debt of sovereign states in distress at a discounted market price, stay aloof from restructuring processes and then enforce their claims in courts to secure the face value. For low revenue debtor countries, paying the claims may involve reducing the resources available for basic services to the population. For very poor countries this also involves a significant regression in terms of development. Against this background, the purpose of this work is to inquire whether and to what extent there exists a rule permitting the suspending and rescheduling of payments so as to pay dues without impairing services. In order to find such a rule, inquiry is to be made into general norms: necessity and public policy. It is under the umbrella of the truly international public policy that the duty of a state to provide certain basic services to its population can be subsumed and the corollary of the suspension and rescheduling of these payments consistently with this duty can be applied.
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