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Defamation and Malicious Publication (Scotland) Act 2021

Section 33: Interruption of limitation period: mediation

150.Section 33 inserts a new section 19CB into the 1973 Act. It specifies, in subsection (1), that in any computation of the limitation period, any period of mediation in relation to a relevant matter is to be disregarded. This is similar to provision in the 1973 Act in cases where the parties are engaged in arbitration or cross-border mediation.

151.Subsection (2) includes provision specifying the start and end point of any period of mediation. The approach adopted is based on section 19CA of the 1973 Act. In cases where parties are involved in an ongoing arbitration, the duration of the arbitration is disregarded when calculating the limitation period (i.e. the limitation period is effectively ‘frozen’ for the duration of the arbitration). This gives all sets of parties who engage in mediation the benefit of an automatic interruption of the limitation period whenever parties engage in “mediation” as defined.

152.Subsection (3) broadly defines the term “mediation” so that it will catch mediation and similar forms of alternative dispute resolution, for example, cases involving conciliation.

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