n Annual Survey of South African Law - Conflict of laws

Volume 2006, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0376-4605



In 2006 (4) SA 23 (C), Van Zyl J had to deal with a mixed bag of issues, but the most important issue pertained to the process of characterisation, or classification, which is regarded as the most fundamental - but also the most difficult - problem in private international law. Briefly, the plaintiff sought provisional sentence against the defendants on the basis of judgments obtained against them in the English High Court of Justice, Queen's Bench Division, Commercial Court, London. The defendants were investors who had chosen to become underwriting members of the plaintiff, and who had failed to pay the plaintiff the amounts claimed from them. The plaintiff took judgment in English Courts against the defendants more than three years, but less than six years, prior to service on them of the South African provisional sentence summons issued on the strength of such judgments. The defendants contended that the plaintiff's claims had become prescribed in terms of South African law.

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