Secured Credit and the Harmonisation of Law

Secured Credit and the Harmonisation of Law

The UNCITRAL Experience

Corporations, Globalisation and the Law series

Gerard McCormack

This is a discerning analysis of international harmonisation efforts for secured credit law and examines the role of globalisation and finance capital in shaping such efforts. Gerard McCormack reveals how an ‘efficient’ law is often seen to increase the availability, and lower the cost, of credit, thereby contributing to international development. He considers whether the most comprehensive international standard – the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Legislative Guide (2008) – is actually suitable for adoption at the national level. In particular, he examines the hypothesis that American law and lawyers have shaped the content of the Guide to the extent that it is not suitable for translation into other laws.

Chapter 8: Conclusion

Gerard McCormack

Subjects: law - academic, commercial law, company and insolvency law, corporate law and governance, finance and banking law, international commercial law


The UNCITRAL Legislative Guide contains a fairly detailed set of rules governing the creation and enforcement of security interests over personal property. Alternative possibilities are allowed in certain situations, but the document is more than a guide, it is a series of prescriptions. While the  UNCITRAL instrument does not reproduce American terminology, the instrument does mirror the norms reflected in Article 9 of the US Uniform Commercial Code. The previous chapters have explained that this alignment with American law is much closer in the case of the UNCITRAL Secured Transactions Guide than the UNCITRAL Insolvency Guide. This concluding chapter tries to explain why this is the case. It also seeks to examine the possibility of the Secured Transactions Guide gaining widespread international acceptance. THE INSOLVENCY AND AMERICAN PARALLELS This book has made the point on a number of occasions that there are greater similarities between Article 9 of the US Uniform Commercial Code  and the UNCITRAL Secured Transactions Guide than between the US Bankruptcy Code and the UNCITRAL Insolvency Guide. Why should  this have happened? One possibility is that there was greater American influence on the drafting of the Secured Transactions Guide mediated through organisations such as the Commercial Finance Association (CFA); that this came through in the final product in the absence of any countervailing groups; and that American-centred organisations such as the CFA did not play an equivalently influential role in the formulation of the Insolvency Guide. It is difficult, however, to provide concrete proof in support of...

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