Toward Standardized Enforcement of Cross-Border Insolvency Decisions: Encouraging the United States to Adopt UNCITRAL’s Recent Amendment to its Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency

By Lia Metreveli

The broad and specific objectives of international insolvency have led to the emergence of several theories, such as territorialism and various forms of universalism, on how to best achieve these goals. In 1997, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) proposed a Model Law, based largely on modified universalism, to promote judicial cooperation in — and decrease the costs of — cross-border insolvency cases. The European Union, Australia, and the United States have all adopted the Model Law, either in part or in full. But the enforcement of cross-border insolvency judgments in these jurisdictions continues to be erratic, as judges implement the decisions of foreign courts inconsistently. Consequently, in 2015, the Commission proposed an amendment to the Model Law — the Recognition and Enforcement of Insolvency-Related Judgments — which would enforce insolvency-related orders subject to seven narrowly enumerated exceptions, such as due process and fraud. Rather than rely on judicial gap filling, Congress should adopt the proposed amendment, which will provide clarity and predictability to cross-border insolvencies, reduce costs, and maximize value to creditors.

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