Unless orders

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

  • Unless orders
  • What is an ‘unless order’?
  • In what circumstances will the court make an unless order?
  • Unless orders are only to be granted where necessary
  • Seriousness of the failure to comply
  • Ensuring compliance or resisting an unless order
  • What information should an unless order contain?
  • The condition to be complied with
  • Time for compliance
  • Consequences of non-compliance
  • More...

Unless orders

This Practice Note provides guidance on the interpretation and application of the relevant provisions of the CPR. Depending on the court in which your matter is proceeding, you may also need to be mindful of additional provisions—see further below.

This Practice Note provides guidance on a particular type of order known as an ‘unless order’, sometimes referred to as a debarring order or peremptory order. The automatic consequence of breaching an unless order is that a sanction is applied (usually a strike out of a claim or defence) and it is necessary to apply for relief from sanctions—see: What are the consequences of breaching an unless order?

This Practice Note should therefore be read in conjunction with the following Practice Notes:

  1. Case management—compliance

  2. Strike out for failure to comply with a rule, practice direction or order (CPR 3.4(2)(c))

  3. Relief from sanctions—making or opposing an application

  4. Relief from sanctions—the courts’ approach

For information on the court imposing conditions upon which an appeal may be brought, see Practice Note: Imposing conditions on an appeal.

What is an ‘unless order’?

An ‘unless order’ is an order by which a conditional sanction is attached to an order requiring performance of a specified act by a particular date or within a particular period (Marcan Shipping v Kefalas). CPR 3.1(3) provides that when the court makes an order it may make it subject to

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