Res Judicata

Africa One Tours & Travels & Anor v The Government of Libya (HCCS NO. 253 OF 2012) [2017] UGCOMMC 80 (6 April 2017);


Headnote and Holding: 

The plaintiffs sued the defendant for breach of contract.  The first plaintiff claimed US $190,747 for services rendered to the defendant. The second plaintiff claimed US $3,085 being the outstanding balance for provision of services to the defendant before their contract was terminated. The plaintiffs each reached a settlement agreement in which the defendant was going to pay a portion of the claimed amount. 

The plaintiffs later claimed they concluded the first payment under duress, and sought the full amounts originally claimed plus interest. 

The defended raised a defence of res judicata on the grounds that the case was premised on a subject matter which has been previously decided. It produced letters of acknowledgment of full payment.
The court dismissed the res judicata defence on the basis that this was a different case because there were new parties and that the plaintiffs were now seeking interest. However, the court held that there was no evidence of duress and if the plaintiffs were assaulted they should have made a police report. The court ruled that it cannot ignore the letter of acknowledgement of full payment on the grounds that a contract entered by parties should be respected. 

The case was dismissed with costs.


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