The Common Law Principle of Universality Extended in the Wake of Hanjin Shipping’s Insolvency
(2018) 26 Insolv. LJ 158
5 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2020
Date Written: 2018
The Singapore High Court decision in Re Taisoo Suk is a notable development of the law on cross-border insolvency for two reasons. First, the decision has implications on the relationship between the admiralty jurisdiction in Singapore and the Singapore court’s inherent powers in the context of cross-border insolvency. Second, it is the most recent in a series of cases breaking from Rubin v Eurofinance SA (Rubin) and developing Singapore’s common law authority to assist foreign insolvency proceedings. While Singapore subsequently adopted the UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency (Model Law), the increased scope of the court’s inherent authority remains a flexible tool available to debtors and, whereas the Model Law’s adoption in the Companies Act (enacted 1967, amended 2017) does not extend to personal bankruptcy, the decision paved the way for common law recognition of foreign personal bankruptcy proceedings. The case also establishes persuasive precedent for jurisdictions seeking to adopt a more flexible common law approach.
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