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Doctrine of laches and its application in Malaysia

Md Dahlan, Nuarrual Hilal (2003) Doctrine of laches and its application in Malaysia. In: Asia Pacific Business Environment: Innovative Responses to Regional events, 21-22 January 2003, Concorde Hotel, Shah Alam.

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In action founded on contract, limitation period plays an important part before one commences ab action against the defaulting parties.The limitation period is calculated from the date of the occurrence of the cause of action viz the date when the plaintiff caused the thread against the defendant to comply with the terms and conditions stipulated in the contract entered into by them upon the failure on the part of the defendant to comply with the terms and conditions as agreed.In Malaysia the limitation period permitted for an action founded on a contract, pursuant to section 6 of the Limitation Act 1953 ('the Act'), is 6 years.However, by virtue of section 32 of the Act, even though the limitation period still subsists, when there is laches on part of the plaintiff to commence his action, his action will be defeated.Laches means, unreasonable delay which is detrimental to the rights of the defendants or the third parties.Based on this doctrine, should the remedy as prayed by the plaintiff is allowed in spite of occurrence of laches on his part, it would otherwise,with due respect and pity to the grievance and losses suffered by the plaintiff on the defendant to honour his promise as agreed there of, be unjust to the defendants or the third parties.The positions of the defendants or the third parties must have been altered, though at the outset, the defendant was the one to be blamed for the breaches of contract he committed against the plaintiff and on occurrence of this altered positions and circumstances, the remedy sought by the plaintiff is no more appropriate and just, according to the court.However, courts in Malaysia seems to have adopted different approaches in dealing with this doctrine, albeit this is statutory rights as bestowed pursuant to section 32 of the Act. Based on the author's scrutiny there is precarious and inconsistency on the application of this doctrine in the Malaysian courts.This article will examine cases which dealt with the application the doctrine of laches in contract.It is hoped through this illumination, this paper will be beneficial and will behave us to act with circumspection.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: College of Law, Government and International Studies
Depositing User: Prof Dr Nuarrual Hilal Md Dahlan
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2014 04:58
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2019 07:46

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