This chapter first discusses the defence of contributory negligence, voluntary assumption of risk, and illegality. Contributory negligence occurs when the claimant has contributed to his own damage, and permits damages to be apportioned according to what is just and equitable. Voluntary assumption of risk is a complete defence, on the basis that the claimant freely agreed to run the risk of damage. Illegality is a complete defence, on the grounds that the law will not reward or appear to condone an illegal act. The chapter then turns to limitation periods, which restrict the amount of time within which legal actions must be commenced. The main statute is the Limitation Act 1980.