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Characterisation and liberative prescription (the limitation of actions) in private international law – Canadian doctrine in the Eswatini courts (the phenomenon of dual cumulation)
Journal of Private International Law  (IF),  Pub Date : 2021-09-22, DOI: 10.1080/17441048.2021.1958482
Jan L. Neels

The via media technique of characterisation in private international law, as proposed by the Canadian author Falconbridge, was – over a period of three decades – gradually adopted by the courts in Lesotho, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and, more recently, Eswatini. In a particular dispute, which is used as angle of incidence for the discussion below, the High Court of Swaziland (now Eswatini) applied the rules of the lex fori pertaining to liberative prescription (the limitation of actions) against the background of the via media technique. The decision was overruled by the Supreme Court of Eswatini, which – using the same technique – applied the proper law of the contract in this regard. In this contribution, the Canadian doctrine and its application by the Eswatini and other Southern African courts is critically discussed. The scenario in the Eswatini cases provides an example of what the author calls the phenomenon of dual cumulation. He attempts to provide guidance for the development of Southern African private international law in this regard beyond the via media technique.