Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, is proposing to introduce legislation designed to stop creditors, including so-called ‘vulture funds’, from pursuing inequitable payments through Jersey’s courts. The decision to propose a new law was taken following a public consultation on the subject, which closed in December 2011.

There were 25 substantive responses to the consultation, including submissions from private individuals, companies and representatives of non-governmental organisations, as well as the United Nations.

The proposed legislation would aim to limit practices that could undermine international debt relief efforts. This demonstrates Jersey’s commitment to play its part in the global effort to support measures which assist the world’s most heavily indebted poor countries.

Senator Gorst commented: “By bringing forward a law to discourage so-called vulture funds from using our courts, Jersey will be sending a clear and positive message that ours is a well-regulated, co-operative and transparent jurisdiction.

“In proposing this legislation, our aim is to ensure that Jersey continues to support international debt relief efforts, while at the same time upholding the sanctity of contract law and remaining compliant with our human rights commitments.”

To date, the UK is the only country in the world to have enacted a similar law to limit practices that could undermine international debt relief.

Notes to editors:
1. For further information, please contact Sam Le Quesne on 440429.
2. Links to background information:

Debt Relief Under the World Bank and IMF Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative
http://www.imf.org/external/np/exr/facts/hipc.htm 

UK Debt Relief (Developing Countries) Act 2010
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/22/contents?view=plain