(1) The following actions shall not be brought after the expiration of six years from the date on which the cause of action accrued—
S. 5(1)(a) amended by Nos 9884 s. 3(a)(i)(ii), 52/2002 s. 3(1)(a)(b), 75/2005 s. 47(1).
(a) Subject to subsections (1AAA), (1AA) and (1A), actions founded on simple contract (including contract implied in law) or actions founded on tort including actions for damages for breach of a statutory duty;
(b) Actions to enforce a recognizance;
(c) Actions to enforce an award, where the submission is not by an instrument under seal;
(d) Actions to recover any sum recoverable by virtue of enactment, other than a penalty or forfeiture or sum by way of penalty or forfeiture.
S. 5(1AAA) inserted by No. 75/2005 s. 47(2).
(1AAA) An action for defamation must not be brought after the expiration of 1 year from the date of the publication of the matter complained of.
S. 5(1AAB) inserted by No. 35/2020 s. 40.
(1AAB) The 1-year limitation period referred to in subsection (1AAA) is taken to have been extended as provided by subsection (1AAC) if a concerns notice is given to the proposed defendant on a day (the notice day ) within the period of 56 days before the limitation period expires.
S. 5(1AAC) inserted by No. 35/2020 s. 40.
(1AAC) The limitation period is extended for an additional period of 56 days minus any days remaining after the notice day until the 1‑year limitation period expires.
Assume a concerns notice is given 7 days before the limitation period expires. This means that there are 6 days left after the notice day before the period expires. Consequently, this subsection would operate to extend the limitation period by 56 minus 6 days, that is, 50 days.
S. 5(1AAD) inserted by No. 35/2020 s. 40.
(1AAD) In subsections (1AAB) and (1AAC)—
"concerns notice" has the same meaning as in the Defamation Act 2005 ;
"date of publication", in relation to the publication of matter in electronic form, means the day on which the matter was first uploaded for access or sent electronically to a recipient.
S. 5(1AA) inserted by No. 52/2002 s. 3(2).
(1AA) Subject to subsection (1A), an action for damages in respect of personal injuries must not be brought after the expiration of 3 years from the date on which the cause of action accrued.
S. 5(1A) inserted by No. 9884 s. 3(b), amended by Nos 21/1989 s. 3(a), 52/2002 s. 3(3).
(1A) An action for damages for negligence nuisance or breach of duty (whether the duty exists by virtue of a contract or of provision made by or under a statute or independently of any contract or any such provision) where the damages claimed by the plaintiff consist of or include damages in respect of personal injuries consisting of a disease or disorder contracted by any person may be brought not more than 3 years from, and the cause of action shall be taken to have accrued on, the date on which the person first knows—
(a) that he has suffered those personal injuries; and
(b) that those personal injuries were caused by the act or omission of some person.
S. 5(1B) inserted by No. 21/1989 s. 3(b).
(1B) Subsection (1A) as amended by the Limitation of Actions (Amendment) Act 1989 applies to each case where the date on which a person first knew the matters specified in paragraph (a) and (b) of that subsection is within six years before the commencement of that Act.
S. 5(1C) inserted by No. 21/1989 s. 3(b).
(1C) Subsections (1A) and (1B) apply despite anything to the contrary in this or any other Act.
(2) An action for an account shall not be brought in respect of any matter which arose more than six years before the commencement of the action.
(3) An action upon a bond or other specialty shall not be brought after the expiration of fifteen years from the date on which the cause of action accrued:
Provided that this subsection shall not affect any action for which a shorter period of limitation is prescribed by any other provision of this Act.
(4) An action shall not be brought upon any judgment after the expiration of fifteen years from the date on which the judgment became enforceable.
(5) (a) An action to recover any penalty or forfeiture or sum by way of penalty or forfeiture recoverable by virtue of any enactment shall not be brought after the expiration of two years from the date on which the cause of action accrued.
(b) In this subsection "penalty" does not include a fine to which any person is liable on conviction of a criminal offence.
S. 5(6) repealed by No. 9884 s. 3(c).
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(7) Save as otherwise expressly provided an action shall not be brought to recover any arrears of interest in respect of any sum of money whether payable in respect of a specialty, judgment, legacy, mortgage or otherwise, or any damages in respect of such arrears, after the expiration of six years after they became due.
(8) This section shall not apply to any claim for specific performance of a contract or for an injunction or for other equitable relief, except in so far as any provision thereof may be applied by the Court by analogy in like manner as the enactment corresponding to that provision was applied before the repeal of that enactment by the Limitation of Actions Act 1955 .
S. 5(9) inserted by No. 60/2003 s. 11.
(9) Despite subsection (1C), this section does not apply to an action to which Part IIA applies.
S. 5A inserted by No. 35/2020 s. 41.
5A Defamation—single publication rule
(1) This section applies if—
(a) a person (the first publisher ) publishes matter to the public that is alleged to be defamatory (the first publication ); and
(b) the first publisher or an associate of the first publisher subsequently publishes (whether or not to the public) matter that is substantially the same.
(2) Any cause of action for defamation against the first publisher or an associate of the first publisher in respect of the subsequent publication is to be treated as having accrued on the date of the first publication for the purposes of determining when—
(a) the limitation period applicable under section 5(1AAA) to (1AAC) begins; or
(b) the 3-year period referred to in section 23B(2) begins.
For extensions of time, see Division 2A of Part II.
(3) Subsection (2) does not apply in relation to the subsequent publication if the manner of that publication is materially different from the manner of the first publication.
(4) In determining whether the manner of a subsequent publication is materially different from the manner of the first publication, the considerations to which the court may have regard include (but are not limited to)—
(a) the level of prominence that a matter is given; and
(b) the extent of the subsequent publication.
(5) This section does not limit the power of a court under section 23B to extend the limitation period applicable under section 5(1AAA) to (1AAC).
(6) In this section—
"associate" of a first publisher means—
(a) an employee of the publisher; or
(b) a person publishing matter as a contractor of the publisher; or
(c) an associated entity (within the meaning of section 50AAA of the Corporations Act) of the publisher (or an employee or contractor of the associated entity);
"date of first publication", in relation to the publication of matter in electronic form, means the day on which the matter was first uploaded for access or sent electronically to a recipient;
"public" includes a section of the public.
S. 5B inserted by No. 35/2020 s. 41.
5B Defamation—effect of limitation law concerning electronic publications on other laws
(1) This section applies in respect of any requirement under section 5(1AAA) to (1AAC) or 5A for the date of publication of a matter in electronic form to be determined by reference to the day on which the matter was first uploaded for access or sent electronically to a recipient.
(2) A requirement to which this section applies is relevant only for the purpose of determining when a limitation period begins and for no other purpose.
(3) Without limiting subsection (2), a requirement to which this section applies is not relevant for—
(a) establishing whether there is a cause of action for defamation; or
(b) the choice of law to be applied for a cause of action for defamation.
No. 5914 s. 6.