Interim injunction

Interim injunction
See also

Interim injunction - formerly identified as interlocutory injunction - is awarded on an interim basis during litigation. It's award is based on a balance of convenience between the potential harm suffered by the applicant if no injunction were awarded, and the potential inconvenience caused to the respondent if the injunction were to be awarded. The universal application of this approach has been questioned in some more recent circumstances. A strong prima facie argument, therefore, must be demonstrated by the applicant [1].

Injunction in general

An injunction is an equitable remedy by which the court makes an order to the defendant requiring him or her to do or not to do a specific performance. It is universally available in contract, tort and family law, subject to certain requirements established by case law [2].

Another form of Interim injunctions

Freezing injunction - colloquially identified as Mareva injunctions - is awarded to prevent the respondent from transferring assets from the English jurisdiction before the completion of litigation to avoid settlement of definitive judgment. The applicant is obligated to demonstrate three points:

  • a good arguable case,
  • that there are assets within the jurisdiction,
  • a real risk of the dissipation of those assets which would otherwise make final judgment nugatory.

Another formulation has provided that freezing injunction will be awarded when the court is convinced that the applicant will recover judgment against the defendant, that there is sufficient substantiation to believe that the defendant has assets within the jurisdiction to meet that liability, and that respondent may well take steps to put those assets beyond the applicant's influence. The court will not impose such an injunction if the burden placed on the defendant would be more than is just and convenient [3].

Procedure of interim injunction

An application must be made by application notification, supported by written confirmation, customarily in the form of a witness statement. This evidence should set out the facts on which the applicant relies. Under normal circumstances, the application notification should be served not less than three clear days before the hearing. However, in urgent cases, applications can be made without notification, even before the issue of a claim form. In these circumstances, an injunction can be made without the respondent being heard. However, the order made will only last until a return period, when there will be a further hearing. Applications for interim injunctions are governed by CPR, Pts 23 and 25 [4].

Final and Interim injunctions

A final injunction is generally awarded to a successful claimant after the hearing of action when judgment has been granted. Such an injunction will remain in force, unless and until it is lifted or modified by the court. An interim injunction is a temporary command which is conferred prior to trial and intended to persist until the trial at the latest. It may be awarded to prevent an apprehended wrong occurring. Injunctions of this variety are known as quia timet injunctions. The applicant must explain that the wrong is highly probable to happen imminently before a quia timet injunction will be granted [5].



  1. A. Hudson 2008, p. 200
  2. City Law School 2014, p.63
  3. A. Hudson 2008, p. 200-201
  4. City Law School 2014, p.69
  5. S. Spilsbury 2013, p.44

Author: Klaudia Wojtas