Amc Trade Finance Limited vs Salim General Insurance (Tanzania) Limited, civil appeal No 393 of 2020.

This case provide what court consider when interpreting Contract.

what a court is required to do in interpreting the terms of the contract has been a subject of judicial consideration and  determination time immemorial. Our research on this landed us on a book by Gerald Dworkin titled: Odger’s Construction of Deeds and Statutes, 5th edition, Universal Law Publishing Co. PVT Ltd making reference to decided cases on the subject. Directly relevant to this appeal are speeches from an old case in Shore v. Wilson (1842) 9 

CL. & F 355. Coieridge, J is quoted to have stated:

🔴”Where language is used in a deed which in its primary meaning is ambiguous and in which that meaning is not excluded by the context and is sensible with regard to the extrinsic circumstances in which the writer was placed at the time o f writing, such primary meaning

must be taken conclusively to be that in which the writer used it; such meaning in that case conclusively states the writer’s intention and no evidence is receivable to show that the writer used it in any other

sense or had any other intention… 

🔴This rule thus explained implies that it is not allowable in the case supposed to adduce any evidence, however strong, to prove an unexpressed intention varying from that which the words used impart.

🔴 This may be open no doubt to the remark that; though we profess to be exploring the intention o f the writer, we may be led in many cases to decide contrary to what can scarcely to double to have been the intention, rejecting evidence which may be most satisfactory in the particular instance to prove it The answer is; that interpreters have to deal with the written expression of the writer’s intention and courts of iaw to carry into effect what he has written, not what it may be surmised, on however probable grounds, that the intended only

to have written”[ emphasis added]

🔴Parke, B. in the same case stated:

“No extrinsic evidence of intention o f the party to the deed, from his deciarations, whether at

the time o f his executing the nstrument or before or after at the time, is admissible, the duty o f the court being to declare the meaningo f what is written in the instrument, not o f what was intended to have been written.