The following Dispute Resolution guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
In this Practice Note, the Limitation Act 1980 is referred to as LA 1980.
Statutory limitation periods seek to regulate the balance between interests which compete and sometimes conflict:
the interest of the claimant in having the most extensive opportunity to pursue claims for legal redress, and
the interest of the defendant in not having to defend stale proceedings because:
it is unfair for the 'sword of Damocles' to hang over him indefinitely
the passage of time causes memory to fade and evidence to be lost
LA 1980 is the key statutory framework setting out the circumstances when a limitation defence may or may not be taken.
LA 1980, Part I sets out the time limits, broadly identifying how long a claimant has to 'bring actions' against another party. For an overview of the principal limitation periods under LA 1980, see Practice Note: Limitation—the principal limitation periods. Note also that 'actions' includes 'any proceeding in a court of law, including an ecclesiastical court' (LA 1980, s 38(1)), and LA 1980 applies to arbitral proceedings as it applies to legal proceedings (under section 13 of the Arbitration Act 1996 (AA 1996)).
LA 1980, Part II sets out the circumstances under which the ‘ordinary time limits’ provided by LA 1980, Part
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