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The times they are a-changing

5 February 2008

AS I WRITE these words potentially seismic shifts are occurring in our world. The House of Lords has arguably struck a mortal blow at the principles behind the limitation period – so that those victims of crimes perpetrated long ago can claim financially from those who have received cash windfalls in more recent times.

This is an area where emotions run high: there is on a human level a sense of disgust and outrage that the undeserving criminal should scoop the cash prize that eludes the hardworking and honest. Is what we really feel that the prize should be forfeited altogether because the winner is undeserving, regardless of the compensation argument?

One rule for all

The argument in favour of holding open the opportunity for later action beyond a limitation period could lead to a massive increase in claims. Might the victim or relatives of a serious road accident caused by an 18-year-old be able, 25 years later to sue for damages when ...

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