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Cover A Practical Approach to Civil Procedure

21. Limitation  

This chapter discusses the rules on limitation. The expiry of a limitation period provides a defendant with a complete defence to a claim. Limitation is a procedural defence. It will not be taken by the court of its own motion, but must be specifically set out in the defence. Limitation runs from accrual, which is when all the necessary elements for the cause of action are in existence. Technically, time runs from the day after the accident or breach, and stops running when the claim is brought. This is when the claimant has done everything they can to issue the claim form. Time does not run if the claimant is under disability, and in cases of fraud, mistake, and concealment. In personal injury and latent damage claims time will not start running until the claimant has the requisite ‘knowledge’, and there is a discretion to disapply limitation in personal injury claims.