Published online on 16 Dec 2019
Abstract: This article contends that there is a pressing need to rethink the characterisation of issues relating to securities, both complex and plain vanilla. It will demonstrate that the less than coherent choice-of-law process that exists for securities today is a consequence of courts utilising characterisation categories and rules that had not been designed with securities in mind and applying them in disregard of the new dimensions that securities and their transactions bring to characterisation. These have resulted in rules that do not provide certainty and predictability to participants in the securities and financial markets.
The thesis that this article seeks to make is that a new characterisation category is required that is specific to securities which will encompass both directly held and intermediated securities (possibly also crypto-securities), and address issues of property, contract and corporations together. This will have its own choice-of-law rules which will be manifestations of the lex creationis, the law that created the relevant res or thing that is the subject-matter of the dispute. The convergence of issues traditionally dealt with by separate categories and rules will simplify and make for more coherent choice-of-law for securities.