Injunctions—guiding principles

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

  • Injunctions—guiding principles
  • What is an injunction?
  • The courts’ jurisdiction to grant injunctions
  • The High Court
  • The county court
  • What are the different types of injunction?
  • Interim and final injunctions
  • Prohibitory and mandatory injunctions
  • Quia timet injunctions
  • Who are the appropriate parties to an injunction?
  • More...

Injunctions—guiding principles

What is an injunction?

An injunction is defined in the glossary to the CPR as ‘a court order prohibiting a person from doing something or requiring a person to do something’. It is a tool used by the courts to prevent injustice.

The power to grant injunctions is extremely flexible and has been employed in a large variety of situations in order to do justice in the circumstances. This Practice Note gives only a broad overview of the general principles relating to injunctions. For examples of how this remedy has been approached by the courts and deployed in practice, see Practice Note: Injunctions—key and illustrative decisions.

The courts’ jurisdiction to grant injunctions

The High Court

The power of the High Court to grant injunctions is confirmed by section 37(1) of the Senior Courts Act 1981 (SCA 1981), which provides that the court can grant an injunction:

‘in all cases in which it appears to the court to be just and convenient to do so’

However, as Lord Scott stated in Fourie v Le Roux:

‘[25]... The power of a judge sitting in the High Court to grant an injunction against a party to proceedings properly served is confirmed by, but does not derive from, [SCA 1981, s 73(1)] and its statutory predecessors. It derives from the pre-Judicature Act 1873 powers of the Chancery courts, and other courts, to grant injunctions.

[30]... provided the

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