Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law

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Bankruptcy and Insolvency law has become part of mainstream commercial law and plays a significant economic and social role in contemporary credit economies. This course will consider the fundamentals of business and personal bankruptcy and insolvency in Canada.

There are two basic approaches to bankruptcy: liquidation and reorganization. The traditional idea of bankruptcy was that of a process of liquidation of the assets of a debtor for the benefit of all creditors. Over recent decades there has been a move towards the idea of rescue and rehabilitation as an important objective for both business and personal insolvency. We shall consider the relevant parts of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act concerning liquidation and rescue as well as the Companies Creditors Arrangement Act, which provides a vehicle for corporate reorganization (and in some cases liquidation). Bankruptcy law involves not only an analysis of the rights of different groups of creditors and debtors but also may implicate other constituencies such as workers and communities and we shall examine the possibilities and limits of bankruptcy and reorganisation law in maximising value for the benefit of all interested parties.

Bankruptcy and insolvency is also an institutional system and the course will examine the role of the various participants in the system such as trustees in bankruptcy, receivers, lawyers, judges and the Office of the Superintendent of bankruptcy. This course combines an analysis of the relevant statutory material and case law with an understanding of the policy choices in bankruptcy and the different roles which a bankruptcy system may play in contemporary society.