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Corporate bankruptcy and corporate rescue pose fundamental questions for the insolvency regime. This subject examines some of the central rules, policies and principles of corporate bankruptcy and insolvency law, as well as the economic and social objectives attributed to the bankruptcy and insolvency system. The subject will be taught from a comparative perspective, drawing upon the laws of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. A comparative perspective will enable students to examine and critically evaluate the varied legal solutions to common insolvency law issues. This approach will allow students to acquire advanced and specialised knowledge in recent developments in insolvency law. The lecturer is a Professor of Law at Western University in Canada and he has taught subjects in insolvency and commercial law at universities in Canada, the United States, New Zealand and Australia.
Principal topics include:
- Historical overview (a discussion of the origins of insolvency law to place current developments in context)
- Modern insolvency law objectives and theory (students will consider competing theories of modern insolvency objectives, contrasting broader distributional and public interest theories with a pro-creditor approach)
- Initiating bankruptcy proceedings against a corporation (students will assess how various jurisdictions enable creditors to initiate an involuntary corporate bankruptcy)
- Voidable preferences (students will evaluate various statutory models that have emerged to cope with the problem of debtor corporations making preferential payments to favoured creditors prior to bankruptcy)
- Director liability and the insolvent corporation (an assessment of the risk of personal liability of directors in the context of corporate insolvency)
- Equitable subordination (an emerging issue in Canada, and long established in the United States, is whether a court has jurisdiction to equitably subordinate the claim of a creditor in a corporate bankruptcy)
- Corporate rescue or liquidation? (an evaluation of the trend from traditional corporate rescue law (where the company is rescued in some form) to the more recent development of corporate liquidations being carried out under a corporate reorganisation statute)
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject will:
- Have an advanced and integrated understanding of the central rules, policies and principles of insolvency law from a comparative perspective
- Have an advanced and integrated understanding of the economic and social objectives attributed to the insolvency law system
- Be able to critically examine, analyse, interpret and assess the effectiveness of current insolvency laws and policies
- Be an engaged participant in debates regarding contemporary and emerging issues in the field such as involuntary bankruptcies, voidable preferences, director liability, equitable subordination and corporate rescue
- Have the cognitive and technical skills to independently examine, research and analyse contemporary and emerging insolvency law issues
- Have the cognitive and technical skills to be able to critically evaluate and compare various jurisdictional solutions to common insolvency law problems
- Have the communication skills to clearly articulate their knowledge and ideas to an insolvency specialist, as well as to a non-specialist audience
- Be able apply their knowledge and skills with autonomy to execute a substantial research-based project in the insolvency law field.
Last updated: 10 November 2023