Editorial
  • 1 University of Oxford, UK – Executive Editor
  • | 2 University of New South Wales, Australia – General Editor
Open access

This special edition of the Cape Town Convention Journal (the ‘CTC Journal’) introduces a new type of publication format: reports on the proceedings of annual conferences held under the auspices of the Cape Town Convention Academic Project (‘CTCAP’) held in 2019 (in Oxford) and 2020 (in Rome). As in previous years, the format of the conferences was designed to facilitate intensive discussion, with a presenter (the author or co-authors of the paper) and one or more commentators. We were joined by senior academics, practitioners, representatives of international organizations and other officials, who offered their insightful comments

This special edition of the Cape Town Convention Journal (the ‘CTC Journal’) introduces a new type of publication format: reports on the proceedings of annual conferences held under the auspices of the Cape Town Convention Academic Project (‘CTCAP’) held in 2019 (in Oxford) and 2020 (in Rome). As in previous years, the format of the conferences was designed to facilitate intensive discussion, with a presenter (the author or co-authors of the paper) and one or more commentators. We were joined by senior academics, practitioners, representatives of international organizations and other officials, who offered their insightful comments and enriched the debate.

This issue covers an important period in the history of the Cape Town Convention (the ‘CTC’ or ‘Convention’). On the one hand, it follows the 2019 Diplomatic Conference to adopt a new protocol to the CTC on mining, agricultural and construction equipment (the ‘MAC Protocol’), which represents the first expansion of the CTC regime to cover mobile equipment not expressly listed in the Convention (aircraft objects, railway rolling stock and space assets). L. Gullifer, T. Rodríguez de las Heras Ballell and M. Dubovec explore the relationship between the MAC and Rail Protocols and domestic secured transactions law. O. Böger et al. discuss in their report the key features and importance of an International Registry under the MAC Protocol and outline the key underlying issues and challenges.

On the other hand, multiple airlines around the world have recently experienced significant operational disruptions (for reasons that include, but are not limited to, the COVID-19 pandemic), prompting financiers to enforce CTC security against debtors in bankruptcy – thus bringing the insolvency-related provisions of the Convention to the forefront. Several publications in this issue focus on the Oceanair litigation in Brazil – the first large-scale insolvency in which the CTC plays a central role. A case note by K. Basch and R. Iezzi provides a detailed description of the facts of the Oceanair case, the legal arguments presented and considered by the Brazilian judiciary and a legal analysis of the CTC violations and the impact of the case on financiers. Two reports (by K. Basch and J. Wool) summarize, respectively, the comprehensive CTCAP conference discussions on (i) the misapplication of the Convention by the Brazilian courts and (ii) the subsequent court proceedings in the United States involving the cross-border insolvency provisions of the CTC. The applicability of the Cape Town Convention in US bankruptcy courts is analysed in an article by H. Nahm.

Beyond reflecting the increasing level of interest towards the MAC Protocol and the bankruptcy-related aspects of the CTC, this issue includes scholarly articles relevant for the Cape Town Convention system as a whole – in line with the journal’s focus on in-depth, qualitative analysis of important, difficult or complex topics related to the Convention and its protocols. Sir R. Goode offers a detailed analysis of the main problems of treaty interpretation encountered under the CTC. J. Riffard looks at the problem of plurilingualism in drafting of the Convention and proposes ways to enable a mutual enrichment of treaty texts in different languages. J. Wool outlines a basic framework for assessing potential judicial breaches of the CTC and its Aircraft Protocol and summarizes the corresponding CTCAP conference discussions. A brief assessment of various conflict of laws aspects of the CTC is provided in a report by B. Mesci.

I. PUBLICATION STANDARDS AND CRITERIA

Since its founding, the CTC Journal has relied on the annual conferences of the CTCAP to provide rigorous scrutiny of each author’s arguments and methodology by the key professionals in the area of secured transactions laws and asset financing – in order to ensure that only the highest quality materials are published and to have topics openly and fully debated. We think the time has come to widen the scope of Cape Town Convention-related topics covered by the journal and the range of prospective authors. The CTC Journal is currently reviewing publication standards and criteria, including the potential for and practicalities of blind reviews for non-conference papers.