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Transnational Insolvency Project records


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Biddle Law Library [Contact Us]3460 Chestnut Street, Biddle Law Library, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3406

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The North American Free Trade Agreement has stimulated a large increase in economic activity that crosses the Canadian, Mexican, and United States borders. Inevitably, this has resulted in an increase in the number of bankruptcies in which creditors and assets are located in more than one of the NAFTA countries. The American Law Institute's (ALI's) Transnational Insolvency: Cooperation Among the NAFTA Countries arose in response to this increasing number of bankruptcies of multinational economic enterprises.

The Project's eventual goal was to develop principles and procedures for managing the general default of an economic enterprise having its center of interest in a NAFTA country and having assets, creditors, and operations in more than one NAFTA country. The indispensable first step, however, was to achieve among all participants an understanding of the insolvency laws of each of the other countries involved. In addition, achievement of the Project's goals required the education of judges and lawyers in the bankruptcy laws of the NAFTA countries so they could function effectively in transnational cases and could apply the procedures to be developed in the Project.

The Project was divided into three national groups, with Reporters and Advisory Committees in each of the three countries. Because each of the NAFTA countries has its own unique laws and legal traditions, each national group produced its own Statement of its country's bankruptcy laws. Each draft, however, was reviewed not only by its own national Advisers but by those from the other countries as well, with the result that the Statement of each country's law is here presented from an international perspective that establishes common ground for practitioners and judges from all three countries and enables them to navigate more confidently the potentially hazardous shoals of transnational insolvency.

Phase II of the Project was to develop a set of agreed-upon principles governing multinational bankruptcy cases and to offer useful approaches to managing such cases based on those principles. The laws of the three countries reflect a number of common values, and discussions during the course of the Project revealed a wide measure of agreement on the principles and procedures that would advance the achievement of those common values in multinational cases. The published Principles draw upon formulations set forth in the 1997 UNCITRAL Model Law but are firmly grounded in the realities of U.S., Canadian, and Mexican law and practice.

This groundbreaking effort in transnational law reform consists of four volumes, all of which are described below: Principles of Cooperation Among the NAFTA Countries, International Statement of United States Bankruptcy Law, International Statement of Canadian Bankruptcy Law, and International Statement of Mexican Bankruptcy Law.

The Reporter for the Principles volume and for the United States Statement was Jay L. Westbrook of The University of Texas School of Law, Austin, Texas; the Chair of the Canadian Advisers and Reporter for the Domestic Aspects of the Canadian Statement was E. Bruce Leonard of the Toronto bar and the Reporter for the Transnational Aspects of the Canadian Statement was Jacob S. Ziegel of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law; the Chair of the Mexican Advisers and Co-Reporter for the Mexican Statement was Miguel Ángel Hernández Romo of the Mexico City bar and the Co-Reporter was Carlos Sánchez-Mejorada y Velasco, also of Mexico City.

This project was formerly known as the International Insolvency Project.

The Transnational Insolvency Project Records, 1991-1997, include drafts and related materials pertaining to the creation of international statements for United States Bankruptcy Law, Canadian Bankruptcy Law, and Mexican Bankruptcy Law.

Processed by Jordon Steele, October 2009.

University of Pennsylvania: Biddle Law Library
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Jordon Steele
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