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What is an injunction?

Injunction is an order made by an English court which restrains the commission or continuance of some wrongful act, or the continuance of some wrongful omission. Injunctions are either prohibitive or mandatory. The former forbids the commission of some wrongful act (e.g. the blockage of a right of way or the continued infringement of copyright), while the latter orders the commission of some positive act (e.g. the pulling down of a building unlawfully erected).

Injunctions are also either interlocutory or perpetual. An interlocutory or interim injunction is an order made on affidavit evidence by the plaintiff, with the object of preserving the status quo between the parties, pending the trial of the dispute; it is usually granted on the plaintiffs undertaking to pay damages if his claim fails. A perpetual injunction is the permanent order made when the issues between the parties have been decided at the trial.

The injunction was originally a remedy given by the courts of equity to mitigate any hardship inflicted by actions in the common law courts. Injunctions may now be made by all divisions of the High Court, and the county courts may grant an injunction where the request for one is joined with a claim for damages within the county court limits: Non-compliance with injunctions is punishable by committal to prison or sequestration of assets for contempt of court. The court may award an injunction and/or damages.

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