Bankruptcy expert achieves PhD
Monday 02 April 2012
We are thrilled to announce that John Tribe, Kingston Law School’s resident insolvency expert, LLB Course Director and KPMG Principal Lecturer in Restructuring; has been awarded his PhD from University College London. John’s dissertation is titled “Debtor Treatment Themes in Personal Bankruptcy Policy Development from the Early-modern period to the Present Day - Plus ça change (plus c'est la meme chose)”
His thesis is concerned with a critical evaluation of English personal insolvency laws. A thematic approach to debtor treatment is adopted as the central core of this work. The discussion focuses on a number of themes that are prevalent in insolvency law and policy, both in the modern context but also in a historical context. The purpose of this thesis is to show how these policy themes and debates are in no way novel throughout bankruptcy history - Plus ça change (plus c'est la même chose).
The core themes chosen for elucidation in this thesis which feature recurrently in debtor treatment in a modern and historical context are: (1) Stigma; (2) Compositions & Moratoria; (3) Liberalisation & Amelioration; and finally, (4) Discharge. The acronym SCAMLAD encapsulates these core themes. It is against this moniker that divergent debtor treatment is tested in the early-modern period and the present day. In addition to the recurrent theme demonstration, two further theses are tested. First, it is argued that the treatment of insolvent debtors in the early-modern period was more liberal and foresightful than has hitherto been suggested (‘liberalisation thesis’). Secondly, it is argued that recent legislative changes engendered in the Enterprise Act 2002, in relation to discharge, have not caused additional redress to the bankruptcy procedure, but that the changes in the legislation were accompanied by an increase in consumer credit availability generally and that this led to a natural increase in debt related failure and therefore recourse to the bankruptcy laws (‘credit generosity thesis’).
“I am pleased to have finished my doctoral work. Without the support of my supervisors (Professor Ian F. Fletcher and Dr Ian Williams (UCL)),my family and colleagues, I would not have been able to do this work. I hope to turn the work into a monograph in due course. Now on to the next project – my biography of Basil Montagu QC (1770-1851),” John said.