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Statement on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

In the early morning of 24 February 2022, Russia’s president Vladimir Putin declared war on Ukraine. Russian armed forces were deployed into Ukraine to seize control of the territory of a sovereign…

Decision Phase for the New EU Initiative: Format, Content and Progress

The final scheduled meeting of the EC Experts’ Group on Restructuring and Insolvency took place online on 28 January 2022. In the lead up to the last two meetings that preceded this event, taking place…

Judicial Wing’s 6th Publication Launched

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Richard Turon Award Winner 2021 Announced: Abbas Abbasov

The Richard Turton Award Panel is pleased to announce that the 2021 winner is Abbas Abbasov from Azerbaijan. Abbas is currently a PhD student at the Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, in Germany,…

News

New Projects on the Horizon at UNCITRAL
In the week of 13 December 2021, UNCITRAL’s Working Group V on Insolvency Law met largely via UNCITRAL’s Interprefy platform, given the continued threat and restrictions of the COVID 19 pandemic (no schnitzel or strudel for the virtual attendees once again!). Quite quickly, the opening day of the session saw the ground-breaking and timely UNCITRAL Legislative Recommendations on Insolvency of Micro- and Small Enterprises finalised. This is a particularly important development in the current economic climate when MSMEs are facing financial difficulties worldwide.

On the second day, a potential practice or legislative guide on asset-tracing and recovery in insolvency proceedings was discussed. This project is particularly important, as an effective system of asset-tracing and recovery in insolvency would help to maximise the value of an insolvent estate while emphasising the protection of creditors. Although there are a number of challenges that will need to be overcome, such as how to deal with the era of digital trading, the project was viewed as, if nothing else, an educational and information sharing opportunity for which a toolbox could be developed that could aid jurisdictions that are currently without strong mechanisms in this area.

The third topic discussed in the week pertained to applicable law in insolvency proceedings. It was noted that this topic was obviously important, but also quite complex. A particular observation was that harmonising applicable law in insolvency proceedings and reinforcing the application of the lex fori concursus would enhance legal certainty and predictability, prevent abusive forum shopping, and reduce complexities and costs of insolvency proceedings. This idea is of course not unfamiliar to those well-versed in European cross-border insolvency discourse and it is perhaps not surprising that the European Insolvency Regulation (Recast) was brought up on a number of occasions as an exemplar of how this has been accomplished elsewhere, though the appropriateness of any significant borrowing was also met with some caution and even trepidation.

The 59th Meeting of the UNCITRAL Working Group V was productive, if disappointing due to its virtual nature. The next session should be interesting with many difficult cross-border matters to discuss. There are also a new set of recommendations for MSMEs to look forward to, which will be timely for small businesses struggling under the economic impact of the COVID19 pandemic.

A full report by Jennifer L.L. Gant, INSOL Europe WGV Observer, can be downloaded here.
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