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Preface

Author(s):
Julianne Ams, Tamon Asonuma, Wolfgang Bergthaler, Chanda DeLong, Nouria El Mehdi, Mark Flanagan, Sean Hagan, Yan Liu, Charlotte Lundgren, Martin Mühleisen, Alex Pienkowski, Gustavo Pinto, and Eric Robert
Published Date:
September 2018
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The Selected Legal and Institutional Papers Series ("SLIPS") is a publication by the IMF's Legal Department, in collaboration with other departments, and is designed to make available IMF staff papers in thematic volumes, with accompanying narratives to guide the reader through these papers. The first two volumes in the series cover two areas in which the Legal Department has been particularly active: (i) preventing and resolving sovereign debt crises and (ii) anti-money laundering and the counter-financing of terrorism. While the most recent papers in these volumes previously have been published individually, many papers from the earlier years are now being published for the first time.

These documents provide insight into the internal deliberations of the Fund in key areas within its mandate, often during periods of crisis and reform. With their publication, we aim to clarify the underlying rationale of IMF policies and stimulate discussion and debate amongst not only those who follow the IMF closely, but also a broader range of individuals in academic institutions, think tanks, civil society organizations and governmental agencies.

The foundation of the Fund's legal framework is the Articles of Agreement, the treaty drafted in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire in 1944 that forged a new economic order in the wake of World War II. Today, 189 countries are signatories of this treaty. The Articles, like any constitutive document, sets forth the broad legal framework that governs the Fund's activities and confers a considerable amount of decision making authority to the relevant organs, including, in particular, the Executive Board. When exercising this decision-making authority, the Executive Board relies on the analytic work prepared by Fund staff, who owe an exclusive duty of loyalty to the institution. Accordingly, the documents set forth in these publications consist primarily of (a) staff papers prepared for the Executive Board's consideration and (b) summaries of Executive Board discussions of those papers ("Summings Up").

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff of the Legal Department who have worked tirelessly to select and collate the documents for this series. As will be seen, most of the staff papers reflect work done jointly by lawyers, economists and financial sector experts. Over the years, these staff members have helped steer and guide the evolution of Fund policies, relying on both their analytical rigor and their commitment to multilateralism and the rule of law.

Sean Hagan

General Counsel

Director of the Legal Department

September 14, 2018

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