In re a Debtor (No 784 of 1991): 1992

The court considered how earlier cases were to be considered given that the 1986 Act was intended to be a complete and self contained code: ‘Those authorities show that, in approaching the language of the 1986 Act, one must pay particular attention to the purposes and policies of its own provisions and be wary of simply carrying over uncritically meanings which had been given to similar words in the earlier Act. It does not, however, mean that the language of the new Act comes to one entirely free of any of the intellectual freight which was carried by words and phrases in earlier bankruptcy or other legislation. Decisions of the court upon the meanings of phrases used in Acts of Parliament may come, in the course of time, to give them the quality of terms of art which Parliament may well be assumed to have intended them to bring with them when used in subsequent legislation. In section 265, for example, terms such as ‘domiciled’, ‘personally present’, ‘ordinarily resident’, have had attributed to them, both in the context of bankruptcy and in that of civil procedure generally, a wealth of refined construction which it is difficult to suppose Parliament did not intend equally to apply when those words were used in the 1986 Act. Is there any reason why that should not apply equally to the words ‘has carried on business’? There does not seem to me to be anything in the policy of the new Act which suggests that in this provision Parliament was intending to give those words a different meaning from those which they had been held to bear under the 1914 Act.’


Hoffmann J


[1992] Ch 544


Insolvency Act 1986


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedBrenner v Revenue and Customs; In re Modern Jet Support Centre Ltd ChD 21-Jul-2005
The court was asked whether the process of distraint against goods for unpaid tax under section 61 of the 1970 Act is an ‘execution’ within section 183 of the 1986 Act which applies where a creditor has issued, but not completed, execution against . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 17 May 2022; Ref: scu.228988