Ruin and Redemption: The Struggle for a Canadian Bankruptcy Law, 1867-1919

By Thomas G. W. Telfer

© 2014

In 1880 the federal Parliament of Canada repealed the Insolvent Act of 1875, leaving debtor-creditor matters to be regulated by the provinces. Almost forty years later, Parliament finally passed new bankruptcy legislation, recognizing that what was once considered a moral evil had become a commercial necessity. In Ruin and Redemption, Thomas G.W. Telfer analyses the ideas, interests, and institutions that shaped the evolution of Canadian bankruptcy law in this era. Examining the vigorous public debates over the idea of bankruptcy, Telfer argues that the law was shaped by conflict over the morality of release from debts and by the divergence of interests between local and distant creditors. Ruin and Redemption is the first full-length study of the origins of Canadian bankruptcy law, thus making it an important contribution to the study of Canada’s commercial law.

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Product Details

  • Series: Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 328 pages
  • Illustrations: 6
  • Dimensions: 6.4in x 1.1in x 9.3in
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SKU# SP002526

  • PUBLISHED OCT 2014

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    Regular Price: $77.00

    ISBN 9780802093431
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Quick Overview

Ruin and Redemption is the first full-length study of the origins of Canadian bankruptcy law, making it an important contribution to the study of Canada’s commercial law.

Ruin and Redemption: The Struggle for a Canadian Bankruptcy Law, 1867-1919

By Thomas G. W. Telfer

© 2014

In 1880 the federal Parliament of Canada repealed the Insolvent Act of 1875, leaving debtor-creditor matters to be regulated by the provinces. Almost forty years later, Parliament finally passed new bankruptcy legislation, recognizing that what was once considered a moral evil had become a commercial necessity. In Ruin and Redemption, Thomas G.W. Telfer analyses the ideas, interests, and institutions that shaped the evolution of Canadian bankruptcy law in this era. Examining the vigorous public debates over the idea of bankruptcy, Telfer argues that the law was shaped by conflict over the morality of release from debts and by the divergence of interests between local and distant creditors. Ruin and Redemption is the first full-length study of the origins of Canadian bankruptcy law, thus making it an important contribution to the study of Canada’s commercial law.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 328 pages
  • Illustrations: 6
  • Dimensions: 6.4in x 1.1in x 9.3in
  • Reviews

    ‘This is an excellent piece of scholarship.’


    Andrew Smith
    Journal of Legal History vol 37:2016

    ‘Once established in the aftermath of the First World War, federal bankruptcy legislation in Canada has almost certainly become a permanent part of the economic landscape. Telfer’s monumental study is the definitive explanation for how that important sea change came to pass.’


    Charles J. Tabb
    Law and History Review May 2016

    ‘Tom Telfer deserves our congratulations for shining a light on what until now was an obscure and little-known episode in our legal history.’


    Roderick J. Wood
    Canadian Business Law Journal vol 57:03:2016

    Ruin and Redemption is a valuable addition to the excellent catalogue of the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History. It helps historians to better understand the legal structures involved in the regulation of debt and obligation.’


    Daniel Simeone
    Canadian Historical Review vol 96:02:2015

    ‘Law students, professors, and those interested in Canadian history generally can all take away something of value from this book. Telfer’s analysis is easy to follow…. No legal background is required to derive insight from reading this book.’


    Sean Tessarolo
    Saskatchewan Law Review vol 78:2015

    “It is rare to find a work on commercial law that animates the law and its history by drawing insight from political debate, social context and commentary, economic analysis and literature, as well as legislation, case law, and parliamentary records. Ruin and Redemption is a valuable addition to the legal and historical literature on insolvency law.”


    Tamara Buckwold, Faculty of Law, University of Alberta

    Ruin and Redemption is a significant contribution to the history of Canadian bankruptcy law. It demonstrates skilfully how ideas and interests, and the institutional structures which shaped them, contributed to Canada rejecting bankruptcy law in 1880 and not passing a national statute until 1919. Scholars from a variety of disciplines interested in comparative analysis of bankruptcy law development will benefit from reading this book.” 


    Iain Ramsay, Kent Law School, University of Kent
  • Author Information

    Thomas G. W. Telfer is a professor in the Faculty of Law at Western University.
  • Table of contents

    Illustrations
    Tables
    Abbreviations
    Preface

    Chapter 1: Ideas, Interests, and Institutions

    PART I 1867–1880

    Chapter 2: The Constitutional and Legislative History 1867-1880
    Chapter 3: The Rise and Fall of Bankruptcy Law 1867-1880: The Equitable Distribution of Assets
    Chapter 4: The Repeal of Bankruptcy Law 1867-1880: The Discharge
    Chapter 5: The Role of Institutions 1867-1880

    PART II 1880–1903
    Chapter 6: Living With Repeal and the Failure of Federal Reform: 1880-1903
    Chapter 7: The Constitutional Question and the Impact of Federalism: 1880-1903
    Chapter 8: The Bankruptcy Law Debates: 1880-1903

    PART III 1903–1919
    Chapter 9: Reform Achieved: The Bankruptcy Act of 1919
    Chapter 10: Conclusion

    Appendix to Chapter 6
    Bibliography

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