Litigating twice on the same matter is not allowed

The Code of Civil Procedure of Aruba prevents parties from litigating twice on the same legal issue. The principle that a final judgment of a competent court is conclusive upon the parties in any subsequent litigation involving the same cause of action is known as ‘res judicata ’.

The binding effect of a judgment is limited to the parties which have been involved in the proceedings that resulted in the judgment. As far as the subjective scope of the binding effect (res judicata) is concerned: the subjective scope of a judgment is in principle limited to the parties involved in the proceedings which resulted in that judgment and their successors.

In a foreign case the subjective scope of judgments rendered in Aruba will be determined in accordance with the law of that particular jurisdiction, not by Aruban law.

Under the laws of Aruba, a decision regarding (for instance) the contents of the law does have binding effect, subject to the limitation that it should concern the same case, i.e.: if in proceedings between two parties the Court would decide on a particular interpretation of a statutory provision, such a decision would not be binding in subsequent proceedings concerning a different matter, but would be binding in subsequent proceedings (in the Kingdom of the Netherlands) concerning the same case.

Under Aruban law, in my opinion, findings by the Court which do not contribute to the resolution by the Court cannot have binding effect.

Karel Frielink
Attorney (Lawyer) / Partner

(18 June 2014)

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