To stay or not to stay? Admiralty proceedings after the International Arbitration Act 15 of 2017: Atakas Ticaret Ve Nakliyat AS v Glencore International AG
Authors: Dusty-Lee Donnelly & Seshni Govindasamy
Affiliations: Lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of KwaZulu-Natal; Faculty of Law, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Source: South African Law Journal, Volume 138 Issue 1, p. 40-57
The decision in Atakas Ticaret Ve Nakliyat AS v Glencore International AG 2019 (5) SA 379 (SCA) made important remarks to the effect that the discretion to effect a joinder to admiralty proceedings under s 5(1) of the Admiralty Jurisdiction Regulation Act 105 of 1983, and the discretion to refuse a stay of proceedings under s 7(1)(b) of the Act, are ‘untouched’ by art 8 of the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Arbitration that is incorporated under the International Arbitration Act 15 of 2017. The court reached this decision on the basis that, in terms of art 1(5), the Model Law does not affect other laws of the Republic under which matters may not be referred to arbitration, or may only be so referred subject to conditions. This case note analyses the nature and extent of the court’s discretion under art 8(1) of the Model Law, the argument for an implied repeal of s 7(1)(b) of the Admiralty Jurisdiction Regulation Act, the interpretation of art 1(5) of the Model Law, and the questions left unanswered by the judgment. It argues that although the Model Law does not automatically oust the jurisdiction of the high court exercising admiralty jurisdiction to hear a maritime claim, the court only retains a narrow discretion to refuse a stay of those proceedings when an international commercial arbitration agreement exists in respect of the dispute.