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An injunction is a court order requiring that someone desist from doing something (prohibitory injunction), or that they do a particular act (mandatory injunction). Injunction are equitable remedies and as such they are awarded at the discretion of the court and the bars to equity may prevent the remedy being granted. The High Court has the power to award an injunction under section 37(1) Senior Courts Act (1981) and the County Court has the power under section 38 Country Courts Act 1984.
Non-compliance with an injunction puts one in contempt of court and liable to imprisonment, sequestration of property or a fine.
An injunction may be awarded at the following stages of litigation:
- Where the breach is threatened. This is known as a quia timet injunction and it is applied for to try to prevent the breach occurring.
- Prior to trial. This is known as an interim injunction and can include applications for a search order or freezing order. It is applied for to prevent further breaches or destruction of evidence etc before trial commences.
- At trial. This is known as a final or perpetual injunction.