EBRD probes Eastern Europe law

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is conducting a wholesale review of the commercial law systems of Eastern Europe to pinpoint areas in need of reform.

The EBRD has just completed its first survey, which was of Slovenia. It concluded that, while extensive reforms had already been completed, including the adoption of EU legislation ahead of its accession in May, certain areas, in particular insolvency, were still in need of review.

The EBRD highlighted reorganisation processes and the treatment of estate assets as being weak. It concluded that only in its treatment of creditors does Slovenian insolvency law approach international standards.

Bank legal experts are drawing on more than a decade of experience of helping former communist countries adapt to Western capitalist norms in making a series of ‘country law assessments’. Each of these will evaluate core commercial laws using international standards as benchmarks, and will, said an EBRD briefing note, “take a hard look at how laws actually work in practice, drawing on the views of local lawyers working in private practice”.