Cabinet has approved the issuing of drafting instructions to the Chief Parliamentary Counsel for enactment of the Insolvency Act and amendments to the Companies Act.
Speaking at the Jamaica House press briefing held at the Office of the Prime Minister on Thursday, June 6, Minister with responsibility for Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, said the amendments will bring the Acts up-to-date and in line with modern legislative policies.
The Jamaican law on bankruptcy and insolvency is contained in two pieces of legislation. These are the Bankruptcy Act, which covers personal and individual insolvency; and the Companies Act, which deals with the winding up of insolvent corporate bodies.
Minister Falconer informed that the Bankruptcy Act dates back to the 1880s and has been the subject of adhoc amendments over the years. She noted that the procedural rules of the Act are not only outdated, but that they also conflict with the rules that govern other court proceedings.
“The Act has just not kept pace with the modern legislative policies towards insolvency, as a result, the insolvency process is time consuming and costly,” she said.
Miss Falconer also noted that the current law does not address the stigma of personal bankruptcy and does not make provisions for the rehabilitation or the reorganisation of the business affairs of debtors.
“Only the interest of the creditors is given paramount consideration,” she pointed out.
Contact: Athaliah Reynolds-Baker