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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

23 MAR 2006

An instrument of injustice? Child abuse and the reform of limitation law

Carol Brennan, Principal Lecturer in Law, Oxford Brookes University. It has been long recognised that the civil law of limitation can operate in arbitrary ways resulting in irrational and unjust outcomes. Tort actions by survivors of childhood abuse are significantly so affected, particularly due to the complex psychological effects of child abuse and their interaction with statutory requirements for starting dates of limitation periods. This article examines the way that the Law Commission and the common law have addressed this problem, with focus upon the recent case of KR v Bryn Alyn Community (Holdings) Ltd [2003] EWCA Civ 85, [2003] 1 FLR 1203. Further, it considers both international comparisons and human rights implications, concluding that an urgent solution is pressing. See Child and Family Law Quarterly, Vol 18, No 1, 2006.

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