The Limitation Act 1939 (2 & 3 Geo. 6. c. 21) was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that simplified the law relating to limitation periods in England & Wales. The Act was based on the fifth report of the Law Revision Committee and is divided into three parts, with Part I dealing with limitation periods, Part II dealing with exceptions and Part III dealing with general matters.[2]

Limitation Act 1939
Act of Parliament
Long titleAn Act to consolidate with amendments certain enactments relating to the limitation of actions and arbitrations.
Citation2 & 3 Geo. 6. c. 21
Territorial extent England & Wales
Royal assent25 May 1939[1]
Commencement1 July 1940
Other legislation
Repealed byLimitation Act 1980
Status: Repealed

Section 2 of Part I introduces a new limitation period; six years for all cases in tort and contract. The period runs from the point where the injury or problem was created, not from when it was discovered; thus, the Act replicates problems later solved by the Limitation Act 1963. Part II allows for a "resetting" of the limitation period in situations where the party is insane, not a legal adult or imprisoned for either the death penalty or for penal servitude.[3]


  1. ^ "Royal Assent". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). 25 May 1939. Retrieved 23 October 2009.
  2. ^ Unger (1940), p. 45.
  3. ^ Unger (1940), p. 46.