Posts

Defending the Rule in Antony Gibbs

By Neerav Srivastava

 

The Rule in Antony Gibbs[1] (‘the Rule’) provides that if the proper law of a contract is Australian, then a discharge of the debt by a foreign jurisdiction will not be a discharge in Australia unless the creditor submitted to the foreign jurisdiction.[2] The Rule is much maligned, especially in insolvency circles, and has been described as “Victorian”.[3] In ‘Heritage and Vitality: Whether Antony Gibbs is a Presumption’[4] I seek to defend the Rule.

Presumption

The article begins by arguing that, in the modern context, that the Rule should be recognised as a Presumption as to party intentions.

Briefly, Gibbs was decided in the 1890s. At the time, the prevailing view was that the proper law of a contract was either the law of the place of the contract or its performance.[5] This approach was based on apportioning regulatory authority between sovereign States rather than party intentions. To apply a foreign proper law in a territory was regarded as contrary to territorial sovereignty. Freedom of contract and party intentions were becoming relevant to proper law but only to a limited extent.[6]

As for Gibbs, Lord Esher’s language is consistent with the ‘Regulatory Approach’:

HCCH Monthly Update: December 2020

Membership

On 4 December 2020, Mongolia was issued with a certificate confirming an affirmative vote in favour of its admission as a Member of the HCCH, following a six-month voting period which ended on 3 December 2020. Mongolia has now been invited to deposit an instrument of acceptance of the HCCH Statute to become a Member of the HCCH.

Meetings & Events

On 2 December 2020, the HCCH and the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union co-hosted the HCCH a|Bridged – Edition 2020, the focus of which was the Golden Anniversary of the HCCH 1970 Evidence Convention. More information about the event is available here.

Recognition of Foreign Bankruptcy and the Requirement of Reciprocity (Swiss Federal Court)

The Swiss Federal Court recently issued a noteworthy judgment (scheduled for publication in the official reports) concerning the requirement of reciprocity with respect to the recognition of foreign bankruptcy decrees. The judgment (in German) is available here.

Marjolaine Jakob, the author of the following summary and comment, is a researcher at the University of Zurich, Faculty of Law.

Introduction