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Harmonisation of company law: Lessons from Scottish and English legal history

Catriona Paisey (Department of Accounting and Finance, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK)
Nicholas J. Paisey (Heriot‐Watt University, Edinburgh, UK)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 1 September 2004



Company law harmonisation is considered to be necessary for the achievement of the European Union's (EU) aim of a single market and the free movement of goods and services throughout member states. This paper aims to contribute to understanding of both business and accounting history by considering whether UK legal history can offer any insight into the process of harmonisation. First, approaches to company law in the United Kingdom and the remainder of the EU are outlined in order to identify key differences and to explain why harmonisation is desired. Secondly, the UK position is considered and historical attempts to lessen legal differences between Scots and English mercantile laws are then examined, focusing on harmonisation attempts. Finally, by reflecting on the UK experience, implications for the EU company law harmonisation programme are drawn.



Paisey, C. and Paisey, N.J. (2004), "Harmonisation of company law: Lessons from Scottish and English legal history", Management Decision, Vol. 42 No. 8, pp. 1037-1050.



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Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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