A critical analysis of cause of action and issue estoppel as species of res judicata estoppel

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Nchima, Kenneth
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This research highlighted and critically analysed the essential ingredients necessary for the defence of res judicata estoppel. It investigated the effects of the rule of res judicata estoppel on the parties and the Courts. The research also investigated and analysed the application of res judicata estoppel in criminal matters.Considering the doctrine of res judicata as a species of the law of estoppel appear to have resulted in the extension of the application of the doctrine and thus obscured the essential ingredients and the rationale of the doctrine. Therefore, there was need for a critical analysis of the essential ingredients and rationale of the defence of res judicata as cause of action estoppel and issue estoppel. The research employed a qualitative research paradigm. Data collection was primarily based on desk review of the relevant materials such as legislations, judicial decisions, legal commentaries and various forms of publications.Res judicata estoppel is a rule of substantive law as opposed to being procedural rule and it is a strict rule of law except in special circumstances. The rationale of the doctrine of res judicata estoppel is two fold, the interest of the community in the termination of disputes, and in the finality and conclusiveness of judicial decision and the second being the right of the individual to be protected from vexatious multiplication of suits and prosecutions. It is recommended that issue estoppel be advocated for in Zambia to apply to criminal proceedings as is the case in the Canadian criminal system. It is also recommended that the Courts in Zambia on decisions of res judicata estoppel must adopt the approach whereby a distinction is made between issue estoppel or cause of action estoppel and the relevant ingredients upon which the decision is anchored are outlined.
Estoppel- Zambia , Res judicata- Zambia