Q&As

Where no proceedings have been issued and one party has given a written undertaking not to do a specified act, can such an undertaking be enforced and on what basis?

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Produced in partnership with Chris Bryden of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 06/05/2021

The following Family Q&A produced in partnership with Chris Bryden of 4 King’s Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Where no proceedings have been issued and one party has given a written undertaking not to do a specified act, can such an undertaking be enforced and on what basis?

Where no proceedings have been issued and one party has given a written undertaking not to do a specified act, can such an undertaking be enforced and on what basis?

An undertaking is ordinarily a solemn promise given to a court to do or not to do an act. Undertakings are commonly used to underwrite an obligation in circumstances where the court is unable to make an order (such as, for example, in financial remedy proceedings an undertaking not to withdraw sums from a joint bank account). An undertaking is equivalent to and enforceable as if it were an order (Symmons v Symmons), meaning that the sanction for breach of an undertaking is committal to prison. See Practice Note: Enforcement of undertakings.

Undertakings given

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