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Roman Dutch Law meets the Common Law on Jurisdiction in International Matters.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>08/2008
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Private International Law
Issue number2
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)311-327
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


An intriguing aspect of South Africa's Roman-Dutch jurisdictional rules is that a foreign defendant can be arrested for the purpose of assuming jurisdiction over him in a claim sounding in money. This rule, unknown to the common law, also exists in other Southern African countries and has been criticised. The rule was abolished by a recent decision of the South African Supreme Court of Appeal. The court also accepted mere presence within the jurisdiction as a basis of jurisdiction in international matters and suggested the defendant could contest whether South Africa was the forum conveniens. The former rule was unknown to Roman-Dutch law. The existence of the latter was disputed. But both are well entrenched in the common law. This paper examines the judgment and argues that it is a manifestation of a gradual movement of convergence between Roman-Dutch law and the common law.