oa Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - The enforcement of Foreign Civil Judgments Act 1988

Volume 22, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



The Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act 1988 will be repealing the Reciprocal Enforcement of Civil Judgments Act 1966 which never entered into force. It will, when it enters into force, apply to judgments given in any country outside the Republic which the Minister of Justice (no longer the State President) has designated for the purposes of the Act by notice in the Government Gazette. The minister may by subsequent notice in the Gazette withdraw any such designation whereupon the country referred to shall cease to be a designated country for the purposes of the Act. The new Act was necessitated by the new legal dispensation in the TBVC states. The previous Act, following the English statute in point, did not aim at better enforcement but rather at the protection of immigrants to South Africa from other countries in Africa. Furthermore the previous Act was deficient in that the procedure involving the use of diplomatic channels as prescribed in the 1966 Act should not be applied in the reciprocal enforcement of civil judgments between South Africa and the TBVC states; the registration of such civil judgements should be effected directly by the judgment creditor; all such judgments should be registered by the clerk of the court of the lower courts to save costs and ensure expedition; and a registered judgment should be executed as a judgment of the court at which it was registered.

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