Injunctions can be used by the court as a remedy to prevent or require someone to do what is prescribed in the injunction. For example, an injunction could be used to ensure an employee returns property, or prevent someone disclosing your confidential information.
Difference between interim and final injunction
Injunctions are made on an interim or final basis. A final injunction is made after the trial has finished as the remedy granted by the judge. Interim injunctions however, are made before the case has even started to be heard.
An interim injunction is made to ensure an issue has not escalated before it reaches trial. This can be used for example if you are seeking remedy to prevent someone doing something, the court may issue an injunction to prevent them from doing the disputed act pending trial. The case will then go to trial and the judge will decide whether to make the injunction final, remove the injunction, or grant another remedy.
How will the court consider the application for an interim injunction?
An injunction is considered a very serious remedy as it is forcing people to act, or not to act, in a certain way. There are three points the court will consider in any application for an interim injunction:
- The issuing of an injunction must be ‘just and convenient’ to all parties and maintain a fair balance between the parties until it can be heard at trial.
- The issue must be serious enough to be tried in court and supported by evidence
- If there is a serious enough issue, the court must look at the ‘balance of convenience’
The ‘balance of convenience’ test the court looks at when considering issuing an interim injunction is also broken down into 3 steps:
- If the payment of money upon the conclusion of the trial is considered a suitable remedy by the judge, then they will not grant an interim injunction.
- If the judge does not think damages will be sufficient, they will look at the cross-undertakings. They will need to consider whether the cross undertakings will protect the defendant if the court decides the interim injunction has been wrongly granted.
- If the judge does not think damages will be sufficient, they will look at whether the injunction will help maintain the status quo between the parties, until the trial can begin.
What is cross-undertakings
A cross-undertaking is a promise made by the application to pay compensation to the respondent if the court decides the interim injunction should not have been granted. Without this this court will not grant the interim injunction.