Harmonisation of European Insolvency Law and the Need to Tackle Two Common Problems: Common Pool & Anticommons
18 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2011 Last revised: 8 Nov 2011
Date Written: October 19, 2011
Insolvency Law has finally become a field of law for which harmonisation at a European level is considered both important and feasible. In deciding upon the content of such harmonized rules, there will need to be a common understanding about the goals of insolvency law and therefore a European debate on bankruptcy theory. Bankruptcy theory, and most notably the influential Creditors’ Bargain Theory, has long viewed insolvency law as a set of rules for overcoming common pool problems. Bankruptcy theory thus far has almost completely overlooked anticommons problems. Anticommons present themselves in a situation in which there are several owners or entitled parties, and each of the parties has it within its power to block the use by others. Should anticommons behaviour in insolvency procedures go unchecked, creditors as a whole will be harmed. Insolvency is a collective process and this process may not be sabotaged by a single party. Four typical insolvency issues, each identified by Insol Europe as a candidate for harmonisation at a European level, are discussed, analysing them in terms of common pool problems and anticommons: preferences, reorganisation/composition plans, claim validation and insolvency of a group of companies.
Keywords: European insolvency law, european property law, european contract law, anticommons, creditor's bargain theory, bankruptcy theory
JEL Classification: K11
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