Legal Transplants and Adaptation in a Colonial Setting: Company Law in British Malaya

Singapore Journal of Legal Studies [2014] pp. 123-150

28 Pages Posted: 16 May 2014 Last revised: 17 Aug 2015

See all articles by Petra Mahy

Petra Mahy

Monash University - Department of Business Law & Taxation

Ian Ramsay

Melbourne Law School - University of Melbourne

Date Written: May 1, 2014

Abstract

This paper traces the development of company law during the colonial era in British Malaya, providing details on the laws of the Straits Settlements and the Federated Malay States. It also presents an account of economic development and the use of the limited liability company form in these two interlinked jurisdictions. The paper notes the lack of connection between the evolution of the company law in Malaya, local economic and political developments and the actual local use of the law. We situate this material within three current debates about the nature of colonial company law; whether the law is more a product of the “transplant effect” than of legal family, whether the dispersal of company law to the colonies was as straightforward as is often assumed, and whether the law is best characterised as “imperialism”.

Keywords: company law, history, British Malaya, Straits Settlements, Federated Malay States, transplant effect, legal family

Suggested Citation

Mahy, Petra and Ramsay, Ian, Legal Transplants and Adaptation in a Colonial Setting: Company Law in British Malaya (May 1, 2014). Singapore Journal of Legal Studies [2014] pp. 123-150. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2437335

Petra Mahy (Contact Author)

Monash University - Department of Business Law & Taxation ( email )

Caulfield Campus
Sir John Monash Drive
Caulfield East, Victoria 3084
Australia

Ian Ramsay

Melbourne Law School - University of Melbourne ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia
+61 3 8344 5332 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://law.unimelb.edu.au/about/staff/ian-ramsay

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