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Research Handbook on Secured Financing in Commercial Transactions

Research Handbook on Secured Financing in Commercial Transactions

Research Handbooks in Financial Law series

Edited by Frederique Dahan

This cutting-edge Handbook presents an overview of research and thinking in the field of secured financing, examining international standards and best practices of secured transactions law reform and its economic impact. Expert contributors explore the breadth and depth of the subject matter across diverse sectors, and illustrate the choices and trade-offs that policy makers face via a number of illuminating case studies. The result is a unique and wide-ranging examination of transactions reform across the world.

Chapter 17: What makes a good law of security?

Richard Calnan

Subjects: development studies, development economics, economics and finance, development economics, financial economics and regulation, law - academic, finance and banking law


Since the turn of the century, there has been a great deal of discussion in England about the reform of the law of security. It all started in a fairly low-key way. What was proposed was to update the law concerning the registration of company charges as part of the general overhaul of the companies legislation. The Law Commission then got involved, and it produced three papers between 2002 and 2005. Its initial recommendation was to adopt a Personal Property Security Act (PPSA) on the lines of that in Canada and New Zealand, and which has since been adopted in Australia. That recommendation was never adopted. Instead, the government reverted to the initial idea of updating the registration of company charges, and that resulted in a new streamlined registration system in April 2013. Where does that leave the more general reform of the law of security? The purpose of the chapter is three-fold: first, to explore in detail the principles which underlie the approach to the law of security, namely simplicity, flexibility, freedom of contract, and transparency; secondly, to discuss the extent to which the English law of security complies with those principles; and thirdly, to describe briefly how a good law of security might be structured.

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