Civil restraint orders

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

  • Civil restraint orders
  • What is a civil restraint order (CRO)?
  • Can a CRO apply to proceedings before a tribunal?
  • Can a CRO apply to complaints to legal regulators?
  • How to apply for a CRO
  • Relevance of applicant's behaviour
  • The test for making a CRO—claims or applications that are totally without merit (TWM)
  • Will the court exercise its discretion to make a CRO?
  • What type of CRO will the court order?
  • Against whom can a CRO be made?
  • More...

Civil restraint orders

This Practice Note deals with general information on civil restraint orders (CROs) that is common to all types of CRO and should be read in conjunction with Practice Notes:

  1. Limited civil restraint orders

  1. Extended civil restraint orders

  1. General civil restraint orders

What is a civil restraint order (CRO)?

Under CPR 2.3, a CRO means a court order restraining a party from:

  1. making any further applications in current proceedings. This is by way of a limited civil restraint order (LCRO) pursuant to CPR PD 3C, para 2.1—see Practice Note: Limited civil restraint orders

  2. issuing certain claims or making certain applications in specified courts. This is by way of an extended civil restraint order (ECRO) pursuant to CPR PD 3C, para 3.1—see Practice Note: Extended civil restraint orders, or

  3. issuing any claim or making any application in specified courts. This is by way of a general civil restraint order (GCRO)—see Practice Note: General civil restraint orders

The court has power to make a CRO pursuant to CPR 3.11 and CPR PD 3C.

Prior to the CPR, the court acknowledged its inherent jurisdiction to prevent the initiation of civil proceedings which would be likely to constitute an abuse of the process of the court (Ebert v Venvil). The court's inherent jurisdiction to protect its process from abuse continues alongside the specific rules in the CPR as to CROs (see

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