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Journal for Juridical Science

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Cross-border insolvencies as a global economic problem

L. Stander

Abstract


As a result of the continuing expansion of international trade and investment, there has been an increase in the occurrence of cross-border insolvencies. National insolvency laws have not kept pace with the trend, and there is a need to develop an efficient and fair system for the administration of cross-border insolvencies. The lack of predictability in the handling of cross-border insolvency cases impedes capital flow and constitutes a disincentive to cross-border investment. The object of the Cross-Border Insolvency Act is to create provisions for a fair framework to address instances of cross-border insolvency effectively. It is based on UNCITRAL's Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency. The practitioner-inspired solutions that the South African legislation offers are satisfactory and definitely an improvement on the common law position. The only contradiction is that the South African approach towards solving the complicated problems of cross-border insolvencies improves the position of foreign creditors, foreign representatives and foreign courts, while it is still doubtful how foreign courts will treat South African creditors. From this point of view the lack of predictability in the handling of cross-border insolvencies is still subject to criticism as a disincentive to cross-border investment.
Insolvensies oor landsgrense as 'n probleem vir 'n gesonder wereldekonomie

Insolvensies oor landsgrense skep 'n probleem vir 'n gesonde wereldekonomie. As gevolg van die toenemende uitbreiding van internasionale handel en belegging is daar 'n onmiskenbare toename van insolvensies oor landsgrense. Dit is 'n feit dat nasionale insolvensieregstelsels nie tred gehou het met hierdie internasionalisering nie met die gevolg dat daar 'n intense behoefte bestaan vir die ontwikkeling van 'n effektiewe en billike stelsel vir die administrasie van insolvensies oor landsgrense. Die afwesigheid van voorspelbaarheid in die hantering van insolvensies oor landsgrense belemmer kapitaalvloei en is 'n hindernis vir transnasionale belegging. Die Wet op Insolvensie oor Landsgrense 42 van 2000 se oogmerk is om bepalings daar te stel vir 'n beter hantering van insolvensies oor landsgrense. Dit is gebaseer op UNCITRAL se Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency en is praktyksgeorienteerd. Hierdie wetgewing is 'n voorbeeld van die wyse waarop insolvensies oor landsgrense, as 'n probleem in wereldekonomie, opgelos kan word. Die enigste teenstrydigheid is dat die Suid-Afrikaanse benadering om die ingewikkelde aspekte van transnasionale insolvensies op te los, die posisie van buitelandse skuldeisers, buitelandse verteenwoordigers en buitelandse howe verbeter het, terwyl dit steeds onseker is hoe buitelandse howe Suid-Afrikaanse skuldeisers, Suid-Afrikaanse verteenwoordigers en Suid-Afrikaanse howe sal behandel. Uit hierdie oogpunt is die afwesigheid van voorspelbaarheid in die hantering van insolvensies oor landsgrense steeds aan kritiek onderworpe en steeds 'n belemmering vir transnasionale belegging.


(Journal for Juridical Science: 2002 27(2): 72-87)



http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/jjs.v27i2.27120
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