Prescription in Scottish civil litigation
Produced in partnership with Lynsay Cargill of MacRoberts LLP
Prescription in Scottish civil litigation

The following Dispute Resolution practice note produced in partnership with Lynsay Cargill of MacRoberts LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Prescription in Scottish civil litigation
  • Five-year negative prescription (or ‘short negative prescription’)
  • Twenty-year negative prescription (or ‘long negative prescription’)
  • Other negative prescription periods
  • Negative prescription—joint wrongdoers—contract and delict
  • Negative prescription—consumer protection
  • Positive prescription
  • The prescriptive period (or ‘appropriate date’)
  • Fraud and error
  • Contract and delict
  • More...

This Practice Note considers Prescription in Scotland. Given the position in relation to the Prescription (Scotland) Act 2018, it should be read in conjunction with Practice Note: Prescription in Scottish civil litigation—key cases and developments.

For guidance on:

  1. limitation in Scotland, see Practice Note: Limitation of actions in Scottish civil litigation, which also deals with the differences between Scottish limitation and prescription—see Practice Note: Limitation of actions in Scottish civil litigation—Difference between limitation and prescription in Scots law

  2. other aspects of Scottish civil litigation, see: Preliminary and ongoing considerations in Scottish civil litigation—overview and Starting and progressing a civil claim in Scottish civil litigation—overview, which, in turn, link through to detailed guidance on specific aspects of dispute resolution in Scotland

  3. other key areas of Scottish law and procedure, see our Scotland toolkit

  4. the closest equivalent in England and Wales, see: Limitation: general—overview which, as well as giving an overview of this topic, links through to more detailed guidance on various aspects of limitation in England and Wales

  5. foreign limitation periods, see: Foreign limitation periods for starting a claim—checklist, Limitation Periods when enforcing a foreign judgment—checklist and Practice Note: Foreign Limitation Periods Act 1984


  1. CPA 1987—Consumer Protection Act 1987

  2. LR(MP)(S)A 1940—Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Scotland) Act 1940

  3. PL(S)A 1973—Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973

  4. P(S)A 2018—Prescription (Scotland) Act 2018

PL(S)A 1973, Pt I deals with prescription.

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