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Problems faced by African countries in vulture fund litigation and exposed by recent litigation in this field are but a tip of a much larger problem, the lack of adequate legal representation for RMCs in vulture fund litigation and in the negotiation of complex commercial transactions.
RMCs receive certain large investments in natural resources or large infrastructure projects if the RMC government agrees to a wide range of concessions and contractual commitments with investors. Naturally, both the investor and the RMC seek to obtain the best possible terms over the life of such investments. Negotiation of these commitments is often difficult for RMCs that typically lack the financial and human resources to negotiate effectively or lack the appropriate fiscal, regulatory and legal framework. Corruption, differences in bargaining power and asymmetries of expertise pose major challenges.
Faced with a highly competent and experienced legal team on the investor side, the RMC may respond by delaying the negotiations, or cancelling the investment contract when it later understands the full meaning and effect of the contractual provisions. Either way, the investment is destabilized and is of less value to both sides.
In recognition of the tremendous importance legal representation and advice play in affecting outcomes of legal arrangements and disputes, indigents in many jurisdictions are provided legal aid to ensure proper legal advice and, if necessary, representation in litigation are obtained in matters affecting their interests. These domestic legal aid programs help eliminate disparities, strengthen dispute settlements and ensure courts reach fair and equitable judgments. The Facility shall provide legal aid to RMCs, remove imbalances and work towards sustainable, mutually beneficial agreements by levelling the field and creating modern regimes for natural resource and commercial transactions.