The debate as to whose interests should be considered by directors in terms of
their duty to act in the best interests of the corporation—shareholders or
stakeholders—has been popular among corporate law scholars for a number
of years. In some jurisdictions the judiciary indicated a willingness to depart
from a strict shareholder-centric approach by recognising that the interests of
creditors become paramount under certain circumstances. Until relatively
recently the legislature remained silent on this topic. However, corporate law
reform afforded the legislature an opportunity to revisit this debate in at least
four common law jurisdictions—Australia, the UK, South Africa and Singapore.
This article provides a comparative overview and analysis of relevant legislation
in these jurisdictions to illustrate the extent to which, if at all, the legislatures in
these jurisdictions have been persuaded to depart from the notion of
shareholder supremacy and ultimately assesses the implications of a particular
approach adopted by the respective legislatures.