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23 Int'l Insolvency Rev. 1 (2014)

handle is hein.journals/intvcy23 and id is 1 raw text is: 








      In Memoriam: Ron Harmer, 1941-2013


                               Ian Fletcher





It is with much sadness that we here record the death of Professor Ron Harmer, a
founder member of the Editorial Board of this Review and the architect and
author of so much more besides. The community of scholars and practitioners of
international insolvency have lost a true giant and pathfinder, whose lifetime
achievements helped shape the course of global developments in his chosen field
of operations.
   Ron's early career as a legal practitioner in Australia with the firm of Blake
Dawson was crowned by his appointment as Commissioner in Charge of the
General Insolvency Inquiry undertaken by the Australian Law Reform Commis-
sion. The ensuing Report issued in 1988, which has ever since been known as
'the Harmer Report', cemented his reputation as a law reformer able to combine
a shrewd and balanced practical judgement with a keen desire to modernise the
law and render it fit for purpose in the modern world. International interest
quickly followed upon the publication of the Report, and Ron's career became
increasingly international in focus, as reflected in a growing involvement with pro-
jects undertaken for the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, the European
Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the United Nations Commission
on International Trade Law. In addition, Ron became closely involved in the work
of INSOL International, where his innovative thinking lay behind many key initia-
tives taken from the 1990s onwards. One especially memorable example was his
concept of a grand 'hypothetical' played out before the audience at the INSOL
World Congress in Melbourne in 1993, where he assumed the role of Grand
Inquisitor in an unscripted (but meticulously planned) dissection of the successive
phases of a global insolvency, in which leading judges and practitioners (and one
lone academic) delivered their spontaneous reactions to an unfolding catalogue
of events.
   During the 1990s, Ron relocated to London from where he steadily built an en-
viable reputation as an expert consultant to international institutions as well as to
governments engaged in reforming their insolvency laws (or indeed, introducing
such laws for the first time) so as to enable them to operate effectively in the context
of the modern world. Over the years, more than 20 countries around the world,
and particularly in Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe, benefitted from his wise
counsel in building up both their insolvency legislation and also the professional

Copyright C 2014 INSOL International andjohn Wiley & Sons, Ltd  Int. Insolv. Rev., Vol. 23: 1-2 (2014)
                                               Published online in Wiley Online Library
                                           (wileyonlinelibrary.com). DOI: 10.1002/iir. 1219

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