Sunday, July 05, 2009

Manitoba Law Reform Commission Report on Limitations of Actions

The Manitoba Law Reform Commission recently published a Draft Report for Consultation on the province's Limitations of Actions Act.

In Canadian provinces, limitations statutes prevent a litigant from pursuing a claim in the courts after a certain period of time has passed.

From the Executive Summary:
"Canada inherited the English statutes of limitations, but different provinces have adapted them in different ways over the years – and typically at a glacial pace. There have been efforts over the years to modernize and to impose some uniformity on these various regimes, but none have been conspicuously successful."

"In recent years, however, limitations legislation based on some radically different principles has been adopted by the Legislatures of Alberta, Ontario, and Saskatchewan, and introduced into the Legislature of New Brunswick. This legislation, based ultimately on work done by the Alberta Law Reform Institute in the late 1980s, has the potential to bring a great deal more clarity and fairness to an area of the law that has too often been characterized by obscurity and irrationality. It is time for Manitoba to consider adopting limitations legislation based on similar principles."

"The Limitation of Actions Act was originally enacted in 1931. Although amended three times since then (in 1967, 1980, and 2002) it is fundamentally based on an amalgam of limitations provisions that originated in England centuries ago. In other words, it is highly dated, and it is showing its age. The Act badly requires modernization, and in this report the Commission has identified what it sees as the primary areas requiring modernization, as well as the best ways of accomplishing that goal."

"In light of the work that has been done in recent years in other Canadian jurisdictions, the Commission sees no need to reinvent this wheel. For the most part, in this report we have described the structure of the 'modern' limitations regimes found in other jurisdictions, and analyzed whether they are suitable for Manitoba and how, if at all, they ought to be adapted for Manitoba’s conditions."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 1:28 pm


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