Law Text Culture


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.