Monday, November 23, 2009

Law Reform Comm. Proposals on Debt

The Law Reform Commission has released a much anticipated consultation paper on reforms to the law on personal debt enforcement and management. It contains several interesting proposals including the creation of a dedicated "Enforcement Office." I'll have more to say on this and other proposals in a later post, but I found it curious that the provisional recommendations do not decriminalize the so called "won't pay" debtor altogether. This is anachronistic in a modern credit-based society and it is hard to see why the state should bear the costs of enforcing bad bargains with jail time. I have a new paper on criminalization without incarceration, arguing that the objectives of criminalization can be achieved at lower cost for corporate governance offenders. Perhaps those arguments could work for some debtors? Watch this space for more.