Why is There No Statute of Limitations for Criminal Cases in England and Wales?

  • Richard Vogler

Abstract

This article discusses the reasons why, in contrast to most other western countries, there is no general statute of limitations in England and Wales. It reviews different approaches to the relationship between the elapse of time and criminal culpability and considers the arguments for and against general statutes of limitation. The particular historical and procedural reasons for the adoption of the “nullum tempus occurrit regit” principle in England and Wales are examined, before the two major exceptions: for minor (summary) offences and in the case of abuse of process, are explained. The article concludes that general rules of limitation in criminal cases have become increasingly problematic. Reasons for delay can be complex and are often justifiable and the use of digital evidence and new forms of proof can now make a fair trial possible, irrespective of the passage of time. In these circumstances, the approach of England and Wales provides an interesting alternative for consideration.

Published
Jan 18, 2022
How to Cite
VOGLER, Richard. Why is There No Statute of Limitations for Criminal Cases in England and Wales?. DPCE Online, [S.l.], v. 49, n. 4, jan. 2022. ISSN 2037-6677. Available at: <http://www.dpceonline.it/index.php/dpceonline/article/view/1448>. Date accessed: 23 may 2022.
Citation Formats
Section
Sezione Monografica