The International Monetary Fund – A Case Study in the Evolution of Public International Law

On November 1, the Institute for International Law and Public Policy hosted a talk by Sean Hagan entitled “The International Monetary Fund-A Case Study in the Evolution of Public International Law.” Mr. Hagan currently serves as General Counsel and Director of the Legal Department at the International Monetary Fund.  In this capacity, Mr. Hagan advises the Fund’s management, Executive Board, and membership on all legal aspects of the Fund’s operations, including its regulatory, advisory and lending functions.  Mr. Hagan has published extensively on both the law of the Fund and a broad range of legal issues relating to the prevention and resolution of financial crisis, with a particular emphasis on insolvency and the restructuring of debt, including sovereign debt.

Prior to beginning work at the IMF, Mr. Hagan was in private practice, first in New York and subsequently in Tokyo.  Mr. Hagan received his Juris Doctor from the Georgetown University Law Center and also received a Masters of Science in International Political Economy from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

In his talk, Mr. Hagan provided critical insights into the evolution of public international law by expounding on the regulatory, financial, and advisory roles of the International Monetary Fund.  Additionally, he offered his thoughts on the purposes and motivations of nations to surrender their sovereignty and closely cooperate to achieve global economic stability.  He also shed light on enforcement mechanisms and incentives used by the Fund during various financial crises in his fourteen years as General Counsel.