Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act


Published: 1967

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The Laws of Zambia

Copyright Ministry of Legal Affairs, Government of the Republic of Zambia

REPUBLIC OF ZAMBIA

THE LAW REFORM
(MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS) ACT

CHAPTER 74 OF THE LAWS OF ZAMBIA

CHAPTER 74 THE LAW REFORM (MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS) ACT

THE LAW REFORM (MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS) ACT

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

PART I PRELIMINARYPART I

PRELIMINARY

Section

1. Short title

PART II EFFECT OF DEATH ON CERTAIN CAUSES OF ACTIONPART II

EFFECT OF DEATH ON CERTAIN CAUSES OF ACTION

2. Survival of causes of action

3. Amendment of Fatal Accidents Acts, 1846 to 1908

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PART III AWARD OF INTERESTPART III

AWARD OF INTEREST

4. Power of courts of record to award interest on debt and damages

PART IV CAPACITY, PROPERTY AND LIABILITIES OF MARRIED WOMEN AND
LIABILITIES OF HUSBANDSPART IV

CAPACITY, PROPERTY AND LIABILITIES OF MARRIED WOMEN:
AND LIABILITIES OF HUSBANDS

5. Capacity of married women

6. Property of married women

7. Abolition of husband's liability for wife's torts and ante-nuptial contracts, debts
and obligations

8. Savings

PART V PROCEEDINGS AGAINST AND CONTRIBUTION BETWEEN
TORTFEASORSPART V

PROCEEDINGS AGAINST AND CONTRIBUTION BETWEEN TORTFEASORS

9. Proceedings against and contribution between joint and several tortfeasors

PART VI CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCEPART VI

CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE

10. Apportionment of liability in case of contributory negligence

11. Interpretation

PART VII PERSONAL INJURIESPART VII

PERSONAL INJURIES

Section

12. Common employment

13. Assessment of damages

14. Definition of personal injury

15. Part VII to bind the State

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CHAPTER 74

LAW REFORM (MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS) 26of 1967

An Act to provide for the survival of actions after death; to empower courts to
award interest on debts and damages; to make provision with regard to the
property, capacity and liabilities of married women; to make provision with
regard to proceedings against and contribution between joint and several
tortfeasors; to provide for the apportionment of liability in case of contributory
negligence; to abolish the defence of common employment; and to provide for
matters incidental to or connected with the foregoing.

[14th April, 1967]

PART I PRELIMINARYPART I

PRELIMINARY

1. This Act may be cited as the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act. Short title

PART II EFFECT OF DEATH ON CERTAIN CAUSES OF ACTIONPART II

EFFECT OF DEATH ON CERTAIN CAUSES OF ACTION

2. (1) Subject to the provisions of this section, on the death of any person after the
commencement of this Act, all causes of action subsisting against or vested in him shall
survive against, or, as the case may be, for the benefit of, his estate:

Survival of causes of
action

Provided that this subsection shall not apply to causes of action for defamation or
seduction or for inducing one spouse to leave or remain apart from the other or to claims
for damages on the ground of adultery.

(2) Where a cause of action survives as aforesaid for the benefit of the estate of a
deceased person, the damages recoverable for the benefit of the estate of that person-

(a) shall not include any exemplary damages;

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(b) in the case of a breach of promise to marry, shall be limited to such
damage, if any, to the estate of that person as flows from the breach of
promise to marry;

(c) where the death of that person has been caused by the act or omission
which gave rise to the cause of action, shall be calculated without reference
to any loss or gain to his estate consequent on his death, except that a sum
in respect of funeral expenses may be included.

(3) No proceedings shall be maintainable in respect of a cause of action in tort
which by virtue of this section has survived against the estate of a deceased person,
unless either-

(a) proceedings against him in respect of that cause of action were pending at
the date of his death; or

(b) proceedings are taken in respect thereof not later than six months after his
personal representative took out representation.

(4) Where damage has been suffered by reason of any act or omission in respect of
which a cause of action would have subsisted against any person if that person had not
died before or at the same time as the damage was suffered, there shall be deemed, for
the purposes of this Act, to have been subsisting against him before his death such cause
of action in respect of that act or omission as would have subsisted if he had died after the
damage was suffered.

(5) The rights conferred by this Act for the benefit of the estates of deceased
persons shall be in addition to and not in derogation of any rights conferred on the
dependants of deceased persons by the Fatal Accidents Acts, 1846 to 1908, of the United
Kingdom, or any law for the time being in force relating to carriage by air, and so much of
this Act as relates to causes of action against the estates of deceased persons shall apply
in relation to causes of action under the said Acts as it applies in relation to other causes
of action not expressly excepted from the operation of subsection (1).

(6) In the event of the insolvency of an estate against which proceedings are
maintainable by virtue of this section, any liability in respect of the cause of action in
respect of which the proceedings are maintainable shall be deemed to be a debt provable
in the administration of the estate, notwithstanding that it is a demand in the nature of
unliquidated damages arising otherwise than by a contract, promise or breach of trust.

3. (1) For the purposes of the Acts, a person shall be deemed to be a parent or
child of the deceased person notwithstanding that he was only related to him illegitimately
or in consequence of adoption, and accordingly in deducing any relationship which under
the provisions of the Acts is included within the meaning of the expressions "parent" and
"child", any illegitimate person and any adopted person shall be treated as being, or as
having been, the legitimate offspring of his mother and reputed father or, as the case may
be, of his adopter.

Amendment of Fatal
Accidents Acts, 1846
to 1908

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(2) In an action brought under the Acts, damages may be awarded in respect of the
funeral expenses of the deceased person if such expenses have been incurred by the
parties for whose benefit the action is brought.

(3) This section shall not apply in relation to any action in respect of the death of any
person before the commencement of this Act.

(4) In this section, unless the context otherwise requires-

"the Acts" means the Fatal Accidents Acts, 1846 to 1908, of the United Kingdom;

"adopted person" means a person who has been adopted, whether before or after
the commencement of this Act, in pursuance of an adoption order made
under the Adoption Act.

Cap. 54

PART III AWARD OF INTERESTPART III

AWARD OF INTEREST

4. In any proceedings tried in any court of record for the recovery of any debt or
damages, the court may, if it thinks fit, order that there shall be included in the sum for
which judgment is given interest at such rate as it thinks fit on the whole or any part of the
debt or damages for the whole or any part of the period between the date when the cause
of action arose and the date of the judgment:

Power of courts of
record to award
interest on debts and
damages

Provided that nothing in the section-

(i) shall authorise the giving of interest upon interest; or

(ii) shall apply in relation to any debt upon which interest is payable as of right
whether by virtue of any agreement or otherwise; or

(iii) shall affect the damages recoverable for the dishonour of a bill of
exchange.

PART IV CAPACITY, PROPERTY AND LIABILITIES OF MARRIED WOMEN AND
LIABILITIES OF HUSBANDSPART IV

CAPACITY, PROPERTY AND LIABILITIES OF MARRIED WOMEN: AND LIABILITIES OF
HUSBANDS

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5. Subject to the provisions of this Part, and subject, as respects actions in tort
between husband and wife, to the provisions of section 12 of the Married Women's
Property Act, 1882, of the United Kingdom, a married woman shall-

(a) be capable of acquiring, holding, and disposing of, any property; and

(b) be capable of rendering herself, and being rendered, liable in respect of any
tort, contract, debt, or obligation; and

(c) be capable of suing and being sued, either in tort or in contract or
otherwise; and

(d) be subject to the law relating to bankruptcy and to the enforcement of
judgments and orders;

in all respects as if she were a femme sole.

Capacity of married
women

6. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Part, all property which- Property of married
women

(a) immediately before the commencement of this Act was the separate
property of a married woman or held for her separate use in equity; or

(b) belongs at the time of her marriage to a woman married after the
commencement of this Act; or

(c) after the commencement of this Act is acquired by or devolves upon a
married woman;

shall belong to her in all respects as if she were a femme sole and may be disposed of
accordingly.

(2) No restriction upon anticipation or alienation attached, or purported to be
attached, to the enjoyment of any property by a woman which could not have been
attached to the enjoyment of that property by a man shall be of any effect after the
commencement of this Act.

7. Subject to the provisions of this Part, the husband of a married woman shall not,
by reason only of his being her husband, be liable-

(a) in respect of any tort committed by her whether before or after the
marriage, or in respect of any contract entered into, or debt or obligation
incurred, by her before the marriage; or

(b) to be sued, or made a party to any legal proceeding brought, in respect of
any such tort, contract, debt, or obligation.

Abolition of husband's
liability for wife's torts
and ante-nuptial
contracts, debts and
obligations

8. (1) Nothing in this Part shall enable any judgment or order against a married
woman in respect of a contract entered into, or debt or obligation incurred, before the
commencement of this Act, to be enforced in bankruptcy or to be enforced otherwise than
against her property.

Savings

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(2) For the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby declared that nothing in this Part-

(a) renders the husband of a married woman liable in respect of any contract
entered into, or debt or obligation incurred, by her after the marriage in
respect of which he would not have been liable if this Act had not been
passed;

(b) exempts the husband of a married woman from liability in respect of any
contract entered into, or debt or obligation (not being a debt or obligation
arising out of the commission of a tort) incurred, by her after the marriage in
respect of which he would have been liable if this Act had not been passed;

(c) prevents a husband and wife from acquiring, holding, and disposing of, any
property jointly or as tenants in common, or from rendering themselves, or
being rendered, jointly liable in respect of any tort, contract, debt or
obligation, and of suing and being sued, either in tort or in contract or
otherwise, in like manner as if they were not married;

(d) prevents the exercise of any joint power given to a husband and wife.

(3) When a husband and wife are married according to customary law and not
otherwise, the provisions of this Part shall not apply to the husband or to the wife.

PART V PROCEEDINGS AGAINST AND CONTRIBUTION BETWEEN
TORTFEASORSPART V

PROCEEDINGS AGAINST AND CONTRIBUTION BETWEEN TORTFEASORS

9. (1) Where damage is suffered by any person as a result of a tort (whether a
crime or not)-

Proceedings against
and contribution
between joint and
several tortfeasors

(a) judgment recovered against any tortfeasor liable in respect of that damage
shall not be a bar to an action against any other person who would, if sued,
have been liable as a joint tortfeasor in respect of the same damage;

(b) if more than one action is brought in respect of that damage by or on behalf
of the person by whom it was suffered, or for the benefit of the estate, or of
the dependants of that person, against tortfeasors liable in respect of the
damage (whether as joint tortfeasors or otherwise), the sums recoverable
under the judgments given in those actions by way of damages shall not in
the aggregate exceed the amount of the damages awarded by the
judgment first given; and in any of those actions, other than that in which
judgment is first given, the plaintiff shall not be entitled to costs unless the
court is of opinion that there was reasonable ground for bringing the action;

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(c) any tortfeasor liable in respect of that damage may recover contribution
from any other tortfeasor who is, or would if sued have been, liable in
respect of the same damage, whether as a joint tortfeasor or otherwise, so,
however, that no person shall be entitled to recover contribution under this
section from any person entitled to be indemnified by him in respect of the
liability in respect of which the contribution is sought.

(2) In any proceedings for contribution under this section, the amount of the
contribution recoverable from any person shall be such as may be found by the court to be
just and equitable having regard to the extent of that person's responsibility for the
damage; and the court shall have power to exempt any person from liability to make
contribution, or to direct that the contribution to be recovered from any person shall
amount to a complete indemnity.

(3) For the purpose of this section-

(a) "dependants" means the persons for whose benefit actions may be brought
under the Fatal Accidents Acts, 1846 to 1908, of the United Kingdom; and

(b) the reference in this section to "the judgment first given" shall, in the case
where that judgment is reversed on appeal, be construed as a reference to
the judgment first given which is not so reversed and, in a case where a
judgment is varied on appeal, be construed as a reference to that judgment
so varied.

(4) Nothing in this section shall-

(a) apply with respect to any tort committed before the commencement of this
Act; or

(b) affect any criminal proceedings against any person in respect of any
wrongful act; or

(c) render enforceable any agreement for indemnity which would not have
been enforceable if this section had not been passed.

PART VI CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCEPART VI

CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE

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10. (1) Where any person suffers damage as the result partly of his own fault and
partly of the fault of any other person or persons, a claim in respect of that damage shall
not be defeated by reason of the fault of the person suffering the damage, but the
damages recoverable in respect thereof shall be reduced to such extent as the court
thinks just and equitable having regard to the claimant's share in the responsibility for the
damage:

Apportionment of
liability in case of
contributory
negligence

Provided that-

(i) this subsection shall not operate to defeat any defence arising under a
contract;

(ii) where any contract or enactment providing for the limitation of liability is
applicable to the claim, the amount of damages recoverable by the claimant
by virtue of this subsection shall not exceed the maximum limit so
applicable.

(2) Where damages are recoverable by any person by virtue of subsection (1),
subject to such reduction as is therein mentioned, the court shall find and record the total
damages which would have been recoverable if the claimant had not been at fault.

(3) Section nine shall apply in any case where two or more persons are liable or
would, if they had been sued, be liable by virtue of subsection (1), in respect of the
damage suffered by any person.

(4) Where any person dies as the result partly of his own fault and partly of the fault
of any other person or persons, and accordingly if an action were brought for the benefit of
the estate under Part II, the damages recoverable would be reduced under subsection (1),
any damages recoverable in an action brought for the benefit of the dependants of that
person under the Fatal Accidents Acts, 1846 to 1908, of the United Kingdom, shall be
reduced to a proportionate extent.

(5) Where, in any case to which subsection (1) applies, one of the persons at fault
avoids liability to any other such person or his personal representative by pleading the
Limitation Act, 1939, of the United Kingdom, or any other enactment limiting the time
within which proceedings may be taken, he shall not be entitled to recover any damages
or contributions from that other person or representative by virtue of the said subsection.

(6) Any provisions of a law for the time being in force relating to carriage by air
which empowers a court to exonerate wholly or partially a carrier who proves that the
damage was caused by or contributed to by the negligence of the injured person, shall
have effect subject to the provisions of this section.

11. In this Part, unless the context otherwise requires- Interpretation

"court", in relation to any claim, includes an arbitrator by or before whom the claim
falls to be determined;

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"damage" includes loss of life and personal injury;

"dependant" means any person for whose benefit an action could be brought under
the Fatal Accidents Acts, 1846 to 1908, of the United Kingdom;

"fault" means negligence, breach of statutory duty or other act or omission which
gives rise to a liability in tort or would, apart from this Act, give rise to the
defence of contributory negligence.

PART VII PERSONAL INJURIESPART VII

PERSONAL INJURIES

12. (1) It shall not be a defence to an employer who is sued in respect of personal
injuries caused by the negligence of a person employed by him, that that person was at
the time the injuries were caused in common employment with the person injured.

Common employment

(2) Any provision contained in a contract of service or apprenticeship, or in an
agreement collateral thereto (including a contract or agreement entered into before the
commencement of this Act), shall be void in so far as it would have the effect of excluding
or limiting any liability of the employer in respect of personal injuries caused to the person
employed or apprenticed by the negligence of persons in common employment with him.

13. (1) In assessing damages in respect of a person's death in any action under the
Fatal Accidents Acts, 1846 to 1908, of the United Kingdom, or under any law for the time
being in force relating to carriage by air, there shall not be taken into account any right to
benefit resulting from that person's death.

Assessment of
damages

(2) This section shall not apply in relation to any action in respect of the death of any
person before the commencement of this Act.

(3) In this section, "benefit" means any insurance money (including a return of
premiums), pension (including a return of contributions and any payment of a lump sum in
respect of a person's employment), gratuity or workman's compensation, which has been
or will or may be paid as a result of the death of the person concerned.

14. In this Part, the expression "personal injury" includes any disease and any
impairment of a person's physical or mental condition, and the expression "injured" shall
be construed accordingly.

Definition of personal
injury

15. This Part shall bind the State. Part VII to bind the
State

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