To know through diversity: statutes of limitations in the main contemporary legal systems. An introduction.

  • Simone Lonati


The multiple interferences between limitation periods and criminal proceedings reflect on the difficult attempt to balance primary and essentially heterogeneous interests: on the one hand, the need to protect the accused from the «punishment of trial» and, on the other, the need to provide the criminal justice system with adequate time for prosecuting and adjudicating criminal offenses as a way to effectively protect the interests harmed by the commission of certain crimes. The matter is undoubtedly complex, as the issues and implications it gives rise to are multiple and varied.
The awareness that these considerations cannot be limited to a debate at a merely domestic level explains the reasons that have led to the drafting of the current special issue of DPCE, edited by Simone Lonati: the chosen perspective, that embraces the analyses of statutes of limitations in 23 legal systems in three continents, cannot be regarded as a simple juxtaposition of the rules and legal devices in force in systems of law that differ from one another but, rather, as a way to know through diversity. In this sense, without any claim of completeness, this collective work aims at offering updated and reliable information concerning statutes of limitations in different legal systems using a common thematic grid that can facilitate the synopsis and comparative analysis.
In particular, the Authors have firstly gone through the key characteristics of statutes of limitations in each legal system (calculation criteria, running of the limitation period); secondly, special emphasis has been paid to the analysis of the statutes of limitations’ dynamic aspect, which regards the concrete modus operandi of this legal device in the context of judicial proceedings.
Some interesting insights, that seem to reveal a fil rouge between the different legal orders, are briefly outlined in the conclusions of this introductory article.

Jan 18, 2022
How to Cite
LONATI, Simone. To know through diversity: statutes of limitations in the main contemporary legal systems. An introduction.. DPCE Online, [S.l.], v. 49, n. 4, jan. 2022. ISSN 2037-6677. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 23 may 2022.
Citation Formats
Sezione Monografica