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Unit information: Insolvency Law in 2016/17

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Unit name Insolvency Law
Unit code LAWDM0118
Credit points 30
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Mr. Furey
Open unit status Not open
Pre-requisites

none

Co-requisites

none

School/department University of Bristol Law School
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description

This unit examines the role of the law in allocating loss following from individual or corporate financial failure, considering such issues as the justification for a mandatory bar on the enforcement of individual creditor’s claims in favour of a collective realization and distribution policy. The unit examines the justification for such an approach, the rules of distribution and the extent to which creditors can improve their share, for example, by taking security over the debtor’s assets, the use of trusts or reservation of title. The unit covers both bankruptcy (of individual debtors) and liquidation (of corporate debtors). It also looks at the procedures designed to aid the rescue and rehabilitation of insolvent businesses via administrative receivership, administration and voluntary arrangements. Some background knowledge of the Common law in contract, trusts and property is essential

Intended learning outcomes

At the end of this unit students will understand:

  • how the law follows certain fundamental principles when dealing with the realization and distribution of insolvent debtors’ estates;
  • how these principles reflect efficient economic allocation of resources;
  • how they impact on the procedures for rescuing viable but insolvent businesses.

The unit will test and develop students’ abilities as follows:

  • research skills through preparation for seminars and essays;
  • critical judgement and writing skills;
  • oral communication skills and ability to sustain an argument;
  • demonstrate an understanding of the relationship of contract, tort, property and trusts etc. in a particular context;
  • legal problem solving ability and the ability to critically analyse and evaluate law and its operation in this area.

Teaching details

The contact hours for this unit will be 30 hours. This will usually take the form of: 8 lectures, 10 two-hour seminars and 2 assessment preparation and feedback sessions.

Assessment Details

Summative: a 2000 word essay (33%) will assess the candidate's ability to research a topic within the scope of this unit. The remaining Intended Learning Outcomes will be assessed in a 3 hour written examination (67%). Both assessments will assess all of the Intended Learning Outcomes for this unit in the context of topics selected by the examiners.

Formative: students should do one formative assessment (this will usually be 1 x 1500 word essay).

Reading and References

Goode “Principles of Corporate Insolvency” 4th edn. (2011)

Jackson “The Logic and Limits of Bankruptcy Law” (1986)

Additional reference will be made to key journal articles and academic monographs as well as discussion of the relevant case law.

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