Civil contempt proceedings—permission and appropriate forum
Produced in partnership with Alexander West of Albion Chambers

The following Dispute Resolution practice note produced in partnership with Alexander West of Albion Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Civil contempt proceedings—permission and appropriate forum
  • Types of case requiring permission
  • Permission and forum
  • Forum and method for cases not requiring permission
  • Application for permission to be included with the contempt application
  • Standard of proof when seeking permission
  • Contempt in relation to the interference with the administration of justice
  • Contempt in relation to the making of false statements
  • What is the procedure where more than one contempt is alleged?
  • Making and issuing the application for permission
  • More...

Civil contempt proceedings—permission and appropriate forum

This Practice Note discusses when permission is required to bring contempt proceedings under CPR 81 (also referred to as ‘committal proceedings’) and how and in what forum permission must be sought. It also addresses the appropriate forum of contempt proceedings more generally. Note that CPR 81 in force since 1 October 2020 stipulates only a limited number of circumstances which require permission (in contrast with the position prior to 1 October 2020).

Types of case requiring permission

CPR 81.3(5) provides that permission to bring contempt proceedings is only required in two types of cases:

  1. interference with the due administration of justice, except, in relation to existing High Court or County Court proceedings, and

  2. an allegation of knowingly making a false statement in any affidavit, affirmation or other document verified by a statement of truth or in a disclosure statement

For more information on these types of contempt, see: Civil contempt proceedings—permission and appropriate forum and False statements.

CPR 81.3 sets out to which court the permission application should be made, if permission is required—see: Permission and forum.

Permission and forum

Court/type of proceedingsPermission determined by/forum/methodCPR
Contempt application re: knowingly making a false statement etc relating to existing High Court proceedingsSingle Judge of the High Court Division in which the case is proceeding.
Application by way of CPR 23.
If

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