Talk:South African Law/Cession/Introduction

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Latest comment: 15 years ago by Ungherese
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According to this article:

"Stipulatio alteri nemo potest; i.e. it is not possible to transfer an obligation."

First of all, it is "stipulari alteri nemo potest", more often cited as "alteri stipulari nemo potest". Stipulari is a verb, stipulatio is a noun. In the above sentence it is incorrect to use the noun. (Obvious for anyone with basic Latin knowledge.)

More importantly, I must insist that the Roman maxim here cited means something completely different. It means "no one can make a promise for the benefit of a third party". Stipulatio for the Romans of course meant only a special contractual promise subject to strict formalities, but the maxim is used to refer to the invalidity of contracts for the benefit of third parties in general. "Alteri" means literally "for (the benefit of) someone else", here it refers to someone not privy to the contract. So this Roman maxim has absolutely nothing to do with cession/assignment, although the reason for the impossibility under Roman law to transfer a contractual right and to conclude a contract for the benefit of a third party was essentially the same: the view of the contract as a legal phenomenon strictly limited to those privy to it. --Ungherese 02:38, 27 May 2009 (UTC)Reply