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37. However, there could be significant disadvantages if the limitation period were to run from the date of knowledge, as the length of time for which the defendant is potentially vulnerable to claims could be substantially greater, and more difficult to ascertain, than if a ‘date of publication’ approach is used. Although in practice in most cases the date of knowledge would be unlikely to differ substantially from the date of publication, in some instances it could create uncertainty and potentially open-ended liability. This could lead to evidential difficulties if the claimant only became aware of the allegedly defamatory material some time after its publication. It could also create a risk of longer and more complex litigation where there was a dispute over exactly when the claimant became or should have become aware of the material.

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