I suffered damage as a result of defamation, through a previous employer breaching laws against disclosure of information.

I spoke to a lawyer at that time and was told my chances of success were small, and that they would block discovery. I don't really understand what that means but I think that it means that they would lie and ask me to prove that they actually communicated to a third party.

The statute of limitations period has expired and they are now gloating about the damage that they caused me. I have only recently come to possess actionable evidence of what they were actually doing to my reputation.

Their gloating to others has resulted in information being given to me about those events, which I believe markedly improve my chances of success.

Does the availability of this evidence allow me to bring a case even though the Statute of Limitations period has passed?

  • You may like to read law.stackexchange.com/questions/3379/…. However, to be able to get an answer to your question, you'll need to state your jurisdiction. – Nate Eldredge Dec 23 '19 at 22:21
  • Has the statute of limitations on the disclosure laws also expired? – phoog Dec 26 '19 at 20:00

Section 4A of the Defamation Act 1980 sets the limitation period for defamation cases to 1 year.

However, under section 32A, the court is, in certain situations, allowed to disapply the limitation period to defamation cases.

Essentially a court may lift the period if they think it is just and fair to do so. They will take into consideration factors such as the extent to which enforcing the limitation period would unfairly prejudice the claimant, whether new evidence came to light (and if it ought to have come to light sooner) etc.

It all really depends on the merits and circumstances of your case. I would recommend seeing a solicitor on the matter.


If you read Shazamo's answer, it's worthwhile thinking about what statute of limitations is good for. Let's say you take me to court, claiming that I could you a "stinking thief and liar" in front of your peers. If that was a long time ago, the situation is unfair to me, because my memory of that event (if it happened at all) is now dim and I would have difficulty defending myself. There may have been witnesses, but I wouldn't remember who they are. So after some time, the statute of limitations says you can't sue me anymore.

However, if I then turned around and said openly "I called Roger a stinking thief and liar, and there's nothing he can do about it, because of the statute of limitations", then quite obviously I remember the situation, and it is in no way unfair that I have to defend myself.

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