oa Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - The legal aspects of documentary credits in international trade: the case for Botswana



There has been little litigation on matters of international finance, and in particular the use of documentary credits as a means of financing international trade, in Roman-Dutch law. This is evidenced by the paucity of judicial pronouncements both in South Africa and Botswana, countries which apply the Roman-Dutch common law. While documentary credits have assumed a central role in international trade worldwide, their legal import has not been without controversy and this has led to considerable litigation more especially in developed countries. This has not been the case with the less developed countries where the scale of international trade is very low, resulting in little litigation. Judge Gaefele's decision in African Handling Equipment Company v Monitor Kamaz Trucks (Pty) Ltd is of more than passing interest not only because it is the first decided case in Botswana in which the legal effect and consequences of documentary credits have been considered, a position recognised by Gaefele AJ, but also because of the issues raised and conclusions reached.


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