Saturday, September 12, 2009

Debtor's prison in Dubai

The NY Times reports on criminal justice in Dubai: For a Bounced Check in Dubai, the Penalty Can Be Years Behind Bars

Here's what I wrote about debtor's prison, in Repugnance as a Constraint on Markets:
"The changing repugnance of debt and of involuntary servitude have even interacted in changes to bankruptcy law. In colonial America and the early years of the Republic, insolvent debtors could be imprisoned, or sentenced to indentured servitude (Coleman, 1974 [1999]). But as involuntary servitude became more repugnant and debts less repugnant, bankruptcy laws were rewritten to be less punitive to debtors."(p. 40)

1 comment:

dWj said...

In terms of the particular story told in the Times article, I wonder how other legal systems regard contracts signed under duress, which I believe in common law countries are taken effectively to not have been made.