Development of bankruptcy process in the late Republic and its relationship to modern bankruptcy

Michael Quilter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Managing insolvency, as opposed to merely punishing it, requires laws that focus on outcome. Bankruptcy law deals with the effects of insolvency and structures the possible alternatives to deliver a solution that is both commercial and responsive to the parties involved. This outcome requires more than just the construction of a framework of rules but rather the imposition of process. Whereas philosophies and outlooks as to who should benefit from, or bear the brunt of, bankruptcy process, were not necessarily the same in the Roman Republic as they were at the time of the introduction of bankruptcy in England in the 16th century, or as they are at the present time, what is consistent is the recognition that an effective bankruptcy process is essential in dealing with the various social, political and commercial ramifications of insolvency. This article examines the relationship between the origins of bankruptcy process in the Roman Republic and bankruptcy process today, and finds that the importance of solving the problems associated with insolvency has changed little in over 2000 years.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-142
Number of pages18
JournalInsolvency law journal
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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