The New Chapter 15 of the Bankruptcy Code: A Step toward Erosion of National Sovereignty

Chung, John J. | January 1, 2006

If Chapter 15 and universalism offer uncertain benefits but certain harms, why have their principles gained such a following? One explanation is that Chapter 15 is part of today’s growing trend to internationalize American law. Much like the inclination of some Supreme Court Justices to look to foreign law for guidance, it appears many bankruptcy scholars, judges, and practitioners have developed a taste for international trendiness. This article contends that the debate surrounding Chapter 15 in bankruptcy circles is a variation of the ongoing national debate regarding the citation of foreign law in Supreme Court opinions. This internationalism is a manifestation of an elite whose members congregate at conferences where admission is limited to those who share the view that an international approach to any issue is automatically better than the provincialism of national interest. Chapter 15 is one of the accomplishments of this elite.