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Louise Gullifer

The chapter considers the question of how best to reform a fully developed law of secured transactions. A system may have functioned reasonably well over a number of years, but through changing usage, judicial decisions and policy-driven statutory modification may have grown over-complex, contain inconsistencies and become inefficient. There are two approaches to such a state of affairs. One is to identify specific problems and to deal with them in a piecemeal fashion. The other is to undertake a wholesale rethinking of the system. The aim of this chapter is to consider this issue in relation to English law, which so far has been the subject of various attempts at piecemeal reform. The historical development of the English law of secured transactions is considered and the present position assessed. Using three specific examples, it will be argued that this has not worked well and that a wholesale approach is preferable.