Anti-enforcement injunctions

The following Dispute Resolution practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Anti-enforcement injunctions
  • What is an anti-enforcement injunction?
  • Line of authorities
  • The test the court will apply
  • Guiding principles
  • Examples of the court granting an anti-enforcement injunction
  • Examples where the court has not granted an anti-enforcement injunction
  • Anti-enforcement injunctions and EU court judgments
  • Anti-enforcement injunctions and the Lugano Convention 2007
  • Application for an anti-enforcement injunction
  • More...

Anti-enforcement injunctions

This Practice Note looks at the use of anti-enforcement injunctions or anti-enforcement orders. This is a form of injunctive relief available under common law. Such injunctions prevent the enforcement of a judgment and would be available where the judgment itself is in breach of eg a fiduciary duty or violates principles of public policy.

Anti-enforcement injunctions are rare and therefore it is important to determine whether this type of injunction is potentially available. Anti-enforcement injunctions are not available in relation to EU court judgments which are subject to transition provisions in the Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU. For guidance, see Anti-enforcement injunctions and EU court judgments below.

What is an anti-enforcement injunction?

The English courts, under common law, have a jurisdiction to restrain a party from commencing or continuing proceedings before a foreign court by granting an anti-suit injunction. Distinct to this jurisdiction, the English court also has the jurisdiction to grant an anti-enforcement injunction after a judgment has been obtained abroad.

The purpose of an anti-enforcement injunction is to prevent the enforcement of a judgment. However, the exceptional nature of such injunctive relief, and the very infrequent exercise of the court's discretion to grant anti-enforcement injunctions, has resulted in a lack of definitive guidance from the English court on when it may be appropriate for the court to grant such orders.

In 2015,

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