Ideas, Interests, Institutions and the History of Canadian Bankruptcy Law 1867-1880
University of Toronto Law Journal, Spring 2010
23 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2010
Date Written: January 25, 2010
Professor Michael Trebilcock’s scholarship has long recognized the importance of ideas, interests and institutions in shaping policy. Michael Trebilcock and Ninette Kelley make economic interests, contested ideas, and institutions the focus of The Making of the Mosaic: A History of Canadian Immigration Policy. Taking the same analytical approach that Michael Trebilcock and Ninette Kelley use in their ground-breaking book on the history of Canadian immigration, the paper examines the Canadian historical experience to gain an understanding of the ideas, interests, and institutions that have been influential in shaping the evolution of Canadian bankruptcy law. The paper addresses the rise of Canadian bankruptcy legislation in the early post Confederation period and its ultimate repeal in 1880. Bankruptcy law represented both a conflict of ideas over the morality of the bankruptcy discharge and a distinct divergence of interests between local and distant creditors over the advantages and disadvantages of a pro rata distribution. Institutional factors such as federalism, courts, and the emerging regulatory state also had an independent effect.
Keywords: Bankruptcy, insolvency, history, ideas, interests, institutions
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