On 12 June 2015, the Chancellor of the High Court approved the Chancery Division’s guidance for Masters on the grant of injunctions and other interim relief. This follows the implementation of changes to Practice Direction 2B to the Civil Procedure Rules, which significantly extended the power of High Court Masters and District Judges to grant injunctions. For further details of the changes to the Practice Direction, see our previous post here.
The guidance sets out the following points in relation to injunctions:
- Only a High Court Judge or an authorised Circuit Judge may grant a freezing or search order, including orders made under CPR 25.1(g) (orders directing a party to provide information about relevant property or assets which are or may be the subject of an application for a freezing injunction, or information on the location of such property or assets). Unless the parties have consented, Masters may not vary or discharge such orders.
- Changes to the current regime are limited to the extent that Masters (as before) will not usually hear applications for interim injunctions where the American Cyanamid test must be applied. If such an application is made to a Master, unless there is a good reason for the Master to hear it, the application must be referred to a judge.
- Masters have sufficient powers to hear an application seeking an interim injunction if the injunction is secondary to the main relief sought.
- A Judge may refer any issues arising from the grant of an injunction to a Master for determination.
- Guidance may be obtained from one of the triage Judges if there is doubt as to whether an application for an injunction is suitable to be heard by a Master.
- Masters may grant final injunctions in connection with any application, provided that application or trial is suitable for disposal by a Master.
- In addition, applications for interim relief (other than injunctions) may be heard by Masters, although applications which involve complex points of law or facts should normally be referred to a judge.
The full guidance is available here.