IN MARCH this year we published an article ‘Limitation time bomb awaits British home buyers‘ concerning a new limitation law “The Limitations Law (66(1) 2012)” that came into force in the Republic of Cyprus on 1st July 2012.
Limitation periods impose time limits on which a party must bring a claim or give notice of a claim to the other party. Once the limitation period has expired, a party is prohibited from starting a claim against another party.
The ‘new’ law provides for different limitation periods depending of the nature of the actionable right. It provides for a general limitation period of ten years and introduces various limitation periods for specific actionable rights. For example:
|Breach of contract||Six years|
|Damages for nuisance, negligence or breach of Statutory Duties||Six years|
|Defamation or malicious falsehood||One year|
|Tort Actions||Three years|
|Action for remuneration of self-employed persons (e.g. lawyers, doctors, architects, etc.)||Three years|
|Bills of exchange, Bonds in customary forms, cheques, promissory notes||Six years|
One of the provisions of the new law was a one year transition period from the date of its adoption to allow those who were approaching limitation to issue proceedings.
As many foreign currency loans were entered into from 2006, those who had not tackled their predicament by issuing proceedings could find that their opportunity had been lost when the transition period expired on 1st July 2013 – and this put pressure on them and their lawyers to act quickly.
Earlier this week parliament voted to extend the transition period for six months and it will now expire on 31st December 2013, giving more time for those wishing to issue proceedings to do so before the transition period expires.
(A one-year extension had been proposed by the General Attorney and the Minister of Justice and Public Order and subsequently approved by Council of Ministers on 23rd January this year.
However, when MPs debated the extension they were unwilling to extend it beyond December 2013. Previous limitation laws had been continually extended and postponed by a succession of laws since the 1974 invasion and MPs considered that a further extension beyond the end of this year would make the new law pointless).