*Ministry of Defence v Iraqi Civilians

Limitation of action – Foreign limitation periods. The Supreme Court dismissed an appeal by Iraqi claimants, who alleged that they had suffered unlawful detention and/or physical maltreatment at the hands of British armed forces in Iraq, against a decision by the Court of Appeal in which it had found in favour of the Ministry of Justice that an English court was bound to disregard any impediment arising from Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) Order 17 because that order was not a law with respect to limitation which the English courts were bound to apply. The court ruled that the Court of Appeal had been right to say that CPA Order 17 had no legal effect in an English court. It ruled that, in the English proceedings, the relevant law was the Foreign Limitation Periods Act 1984. The CPA Order 17 had no relevance to English proceedings because it had no application outside Iraq and had never impeded resort to the English court.

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