International and Comparative Bankruptcy and Insolvency Law & Policy - LAWS9180

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2022 to 2023.


Bankruptcy and Insolvency law has become a central aspect of commercial law. The restructuring of capitalism since the 1970s, the growth of neo-liberalism, the increased use of debt financing by both firms and individuals, and the volatility of the international economy have contributed to its international importance. The World Bank views a 'modern' insolvency law as central to the development infrastructure, it is linked to fostering entrepreneurialism as well as providing a safety net for individuals in a high debt economy. This course provides a critical introduction to central issues in business and personal insolvency.


Contact hours

Contact hours: 20
Private study hours: 180
Total study hours: 200


LLM in (Specialisation); LLM in Law; PG Diploma in (Specialisation); PG Certificate in Law

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Essay, 5000 words (100%)

Reassessment methods

Reassessment instrument: 100% Coursework

Indicative reading

V. Finch, Corporate insolvency law: perspectives and principles (Cambridge: CUP, 3rd ed, 2017)
T. Jackson, The Logic and Limits of Bankruptcy Law (Cambridge, MA, Harvard 1986).
G. MacCormick, Corporate Rescue Law: An Anglo-American Comparison (Elgar, 2008).
V. Markham Lester, Victorian Insolvency: Bankruptcy, Imprisonment for Debt and Company Winding Up in Nineteenth Century England (Oxford: OUP) (1995)
J. Niemi, I Ramsay and W. Whitford, Consumer Credit, Debt and Bankruptcy: International and Comparative Dimensions (Oxford: Hart 2009).
J. Niemi, I. Ramsay and W. Whitford, Consumer Bankruptcy in Global Perspective (Oxford: Hart) (2003)
I. Ramsay, Personal Insolvency in the 21st Century: A Comparative Analysis of Europe and the US (Hart, Bloomsbury, 2017)
D. Skeel, Debt's Dominion — A History of Bankruptcy Law in America (Princeton, Princeton Univ Press) (2001).
T. Sullivan, E. Warren & J Westbrook, The Fragile Middle Class: Americans in Debt (New Haven, Yale) (2000).
J. Westbrook, C. Booth, C Paulus & H Rajak, A global view of business insolvency systems (Leiden: Nijhoff) (2010).
E.Warren, J. Westbrook, K. Porter & J Pottow, The Law of Debtors and Creditors: Text, Cases and Problems (Kluwer, 7th ed 2014).

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a detailed and systematic understanding of the institutions and structure of insolvency law and their economic and social role
in the economy.
2. Critically engage with the theoretical debates on the role of bankruptcy and insolvency law, the key concepts, policy issues and principles.
3. Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the existing legal regimes of bankruptcy and insolvency in England and North America,
their sources and intellectual assumptions.
4. Critically evaluate the central features of International attempts to develop norms for bankruptcy and insolvency.
5. Form a view on the relative merits of differing approaches to bankruptcy and insolvency, and appreciate and evaluate the main theoretical
and legal perspectives underlying the legal provisions.
6. Think creatively about an important area of international commercial law

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Formulate comprehensive arguments and provide a critical assessment of a complex issue.
2. Skilfully utilise research skills to commence further research into unresolved issues.
3. Demonstrate sophisticated independent academic research, particularly by written presentation of arguments.


Stage 1


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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