The application of foreign law to South African marine insurance contracts: a critical analysis of the case of The Representatives of Lloyds & Others v Classic Sailing Adventures (Pty) Ltd, in reference to section 6 of the Admiralty Jurisdiction Regulation Act 105 of 1983.
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It is trite that the development of marine insurance law in South Africa has been heavily influenced by its English counterpart. While English law and precedents may not be binding on South African courts, they do hold certain persuasive authority, especially in the realm of marine insurance. This dissertation aims to provide an analysis on the application of section 6 of the Admiralty Jurisdiction Regulation Act 105 of 1983 and the manner in which it has been utilised by South African courts. In the case of The Representatives of Lloyds & Others v Classic Sailing Adventures (Pty) Ltd., the decision concerned a complex conflict of laws owing to the existence in the contract of insurance of a choice of law clause which provided for the application of English law within South African jurisdiction. Reference will also be made to the manner in which the court in the above case approached the conflict of laws, illustrating that South African law provisions and, in particular, mandatory provisions of domestic statutes, were formulated to be applicable; and that to the extent that English law was inconsistent with the domestic law, it was not applied.