Interim injunctions—guiding principles
Interim injunctions—guiding principles

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

  • Interim injunctions—guiding principles
  • What are interim injunctions?
  • What is the court's power to grant an interim injunction?
  • Types of interim injunctions
  • Guiding principles for prohibitory injunctions (American Cyanamid)
  • Seeking a prohibitory injunction—is there a serious issue to be tried?
  • Seeking a prohibitory injunction—would damages be an adequate remedy instead?
  • Seeking a prohibitory injunction—where does the balance of convenience lie?
  • Seeking a prohibitory injunction—are there other special factors?
  • Guiding principles for mandatory injunctions
  • more

What are interim injunctions?

An injunction is a discretionary remedy that takes the form of a court order and which requires a party to either refrain from doing something (prohibitory) or to specifically do something (mandatory). An interim (or interlocutory) injunction is a temporary measure put in place pending the outcome of proceedings between the parties. Interim injunctions regulate the position between the parties before trial, when the court will have the opportunity to hear and assess the arguments in full. Broadly, they are only appropriate when the respondent’s alleged continued wrongdoing is likely to cause irreparable harm to the applicant’s interests before the issue is resolved at trial, which could not be adequately compensated by damages.

An application for an interim injunction can be made prior to or after the issue of substantive proceedings. However, in all cases an interim injunction is ancillary to a substantive claim and the application will need to set out the legal basis of the substantive claim. The usual rule is that notice should be provided, but applications for an injunction can be made ‘without notice’ if urgent or where secrecy is required. For further guidance, see Practice Notes:

  1. Interim injunctions—when to apply and on notice applications

  2. Interim injunctions—emergencies and without notice applications

While interim injunctions are not final, many cases do not go to