Limitation as a matter for the applicable law: latest decision

In cross-border litigation, the Rome II Regulation – which still applies in the UK, although now as “retained EU law” – provides that the applicable law shall govern matters such as liability and quantum as well as “the manner in which an obligation may be extinguished and rules of prescription and limitation, including rules relating to the commencement, interruption and suspension of a period of prescription or limitation” (article 15(h) of the Regulation).

How this works where the limitation process or period also includes requirements about service – which is generally regarded as procedural and something for the law of the forum (ie the court with jurisdiction) rather than for the substantive applicable law – was examined recently in Johnson v Berentzen, a road traffic claim pursued in England by an English resident claimant against a German resident defendant and relating to an accident in Scotland.

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Limitation in abuse claims: lifting the bar in Scotland

The Scottish Government has reached a firm view that limitation should not operate to extinguish claims of those who suffered child abuse after 1964. A consultation about making this change has just begun. After it closes on 18 September 2015, the Scottish Government has committed to publishing a draft Bill before the end of the 2015/16 Parliamentary Session.

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