On 26 & 27 July 2018, the Commercial Law Centre at Harris Manchester College co-hosted a conference at the National University of Singapore with the Centre for Banking & Finance Law and the EW Barker Centre for Law & Business of the National University of Singapore entitled ‘Secured Transactions Law in Asia’. The conference was organised by Professor Louise Gullifer and Associate Professor Dora Neo of the National University of Singapore.

The conference examined secured transactions law in Asia with particular focus on reform. It was attended by an invited group of academics, practising lawyers, policy makers and representatives from international organisations such as the World Bank. Most attendees presented papers, which will form a book to be published in 2019 by Hart Publishing as part of a series on secured transactions law reform around the world (the first book, already published, is ‘Secured Transactions Law Reform: Principles, Policies and Practice’. 

The country-specific papers covered 12 countries, and critically assessed the current law, including any reforms, and the need for, and prospects of, any future reform. The first day focused on civil law jurisdictions (Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China and the Philippines) and included a paper examining the challenges of secured transactions law reform generally in civil law jurisdictions by Professor Teresa Rodríguez de la Heras Ballell (University Carlos III of Madrid). The second day focused on common law jurisdictions (Singapore, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh) and also included a more general paper on reform in common law jurisdictions, with particular reference to Brunei by Professor Louise Gullifer, and an overview of reform initiatives in Asia by Elaine MacEachern (World Bank Group). 

There were also papers on more general issues relating to secured transactions law reform, including a keynote speech on ‘Exporting UCC Article 9 principles as legal transplants’ by Professor Charles Mooney (University of Pennsylvania), a paper on reform in developed jurisdictions (with particular reference to Canada) by Professor Tony Duggan (University of Toronto), a paper comparing international instruments by Dr Orkun Akseli (University of Durham) and a paper on the connection between secured transactions and insolvency by Professor Ignacio Tirado (Autonomous University of Madrid). 

The Commercial Law Centre at Harris Manchester College and the EW Barker Centre for Law & Business (EWBCLB) of the National University of Singapore are founding members of the Global Network for Commercial Law Research. This network links centres/groups for commercial law research at leading universities around the world with the aim to promote collaboration through joint conferences and research projects, research visits and exchanges, and other cooperative scholarly endeavours.