Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-7479d7b7d-wxhwt Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-07-14T11:08:14.687Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

England and Wales

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 December 2020

Get access

Summary

INTRODUCTION

The limitations statutes we are familiar with today are rooted in the limitation periods of 13th-century land-related actions in England. It was not until the Limitation Act 1623, however, that the notion was extended to non-land-related claims, including torts. Under that Act, limitation periods of two years for actions on the case for words, four years for actions of assault and false imprisonment and six years for most other actions were introduced. The law of limitations was left virtually undisturbed until Parliament enacted a single limitation period of six years under the Limitation Act 1939 from when the cause of action in tort and contract, but not on a specialty, accrued. Parliament intervened more frequently thereafter among other things to reduce the limitation period for personal injury claims to three years (under Law Reform (Limitation of Actions, etc) Act 1954); to introduce an alternative period which commenced, in personal injury actions, when ‘material facts‘ were known to the claimant (under the Limitation Act 1963); and to legislate for judicial discretion to set aside the ordinary time limit in personal injuries cases (under the Limitation Act 1975). The current principal piece of legislation on the subject, the Limitation Act 1980, entered into force on 1 May 1981 and applies in England and Wales only. As its Preamble notes, the statute is:‘An Act to consolidate the Limitation Acts 1939 to 1980̓. Important amendments have since been made to the Limitation Act 1980, for our purposes, by the Latent Damage Act 1986 (which is also limited in its application to England and Wales), the Consumer Protection Act 1987 (which applies across the UK), the Administration of Justice Act 1985 and the Defamation Act 1996 (which applies to the whole of the UK with the exception of Scotland).

Part I of the Limitation Act 1980 (secs 1– 27C) sets the ordinary time limits for different classes of action. However, the latter may qualify for extension or exclusion in accordance with provisions under Part II of the Act (secs 28– 33B). Miscellaneous and general provisions are contained in Part III (secs 35– 41). By virtue of sec 37 of the Limitation Act 1980, actions involving the Crown are generally dealt with in the same way as those between private subjects. .

Type
Chapter
Information
Prescription in Tort Law
Analytical and Comparative Perspectives
, pp. 243 - 308
Publisher: Intersentia
Print publication year: 2020

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×