SOAS University of London

School of Law

Toby King

BA (Oxon), MPhil (Amsterdam), LLM (Pennsylvania)
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Toby King
Mr Toby King
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Thesis title:
Conditionality and legitimacy in international financial institutions: From Bretton Woods to the Eurozone
Year of Study:
Year of entry 2013, part-time
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PhD Research

My thesis examines, from a legal perspective, whether the exercise of conditionality by international financial institutions - the Bretton Woods institutions and the Eurozone institutions – is subject to any type of limitation or whether these institutions have untrammelled power to impose any conditions that they choose on States requiring their assistance.  It will argue that an international organisation can only be considered to enjoy legitimacy if it is indeed subject to effective judicial control and political accountability.

The thesis will ask three main questions, which concern the past, present and future.  First, given that States are usually careful when creating international organisations to define limits on their powers and to establish mechanisms to ensure that the organisation respects these limits, how were the Bretton Woods institutions able to develop a legal doctrine that allowed them to develop extensive conditionality?  Second, having examined through an historical analysis the gradual development of conditionality within the Fund and the Bank, the thesis will consider whether the Eurozone institutions have been established according to a similar design, and their relationship to the procedures for legal review and accountability which apply to the other EU organs under the EU Treaties? Third, the thesis will examine methods that are being, or could be, developed to strengthen legal control and accountability over the actions of international financial institutions.


Law Society of England and Wales; British Institute of International and Comparative Law; European Society of International Law  


Public international law/human rights/EU law