Cross-Border Corporate Insolvency in the Era of Soft(ish) Law

32 Pages Posted: 26 Oct 2017

Date Written: October 2015


Insolvency law (bankruptcy law to some) moves so quickly in the cross-border realm that this piece's discussion, started in 2015, is probably already outdated. Nonetheless, I publish it unrepentantly because it turns overdue attention to the role of soft law in this domain. Building on earlier work in which I address the role of incrementalism, I discuss the marked success of the UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency and its cognate Insolvency Regulation in the EU (the latter now into its "Recast"). As predicted/hoped, the EU Recast, joining other contemporaneous reform projects, is building upon the scaffolding of legal doctrines erected by the Model Law. This is a success for soft law. Here, however, I am using "soft law" both to define the binding force of the international instrument and the substantive ambition of its insolvency law specificity. Soft law, thus defined, appears to have reigned triumphant.

JEL Classification: K2

Suggested Citation

Pottow, John A. E., Cross-Border Corporate Insolvency in the Era of Soft(ish) Law (October 2015). U of Michigan Law & Econ Research Paper No. 17-016, U of Michigan Public Law Research Paper No. 569, Available at SSRN: or

John A. E. Pottow (Contact Author)

University of Michigan Law School ( email )

625 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1215
United States
734-647-3736 (Phone)

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