“The decision in the American Cyanamid case is a complete breakaway from the settled principles upon which an application for an interlocutory injunction is granted”. Critically examine this statement.
An interlocutory injunction is an equitable remedy, which temporarily prohibits the defendant, from continuing a particular activity. The purpose of this injunction is to maintain the status quo or preserve the subject matter so that no permanent harm is done to the rights of the applicant before a court hearing or trial. Given the nature of the relief the courts have taken a variety of factors into account in exercising its discretion to grant or not grant the relief. It is for this reason the American Cyanamid case came about, as it attempted to furnish the courts with a judicial structure or judicial guidelines, which may aid in determining whether an interlocutory remedy should be granted. However it is noteworthy that Prior to the American Cyanamid case, the court employed a different test to determine whether or not the relief should be granted. It has been argued that the decision of the American Cyanamid reformulated that old test and as such is a complete break away from settled principles. However upon close examination of the new principles established in the case, it is seen that the test simply made minor procedural changes as such the substantive element remained the same. Thus it would not be correct to state bluntly that the decision in the American Cyanamid case is a complete breakaway from the settled principles upon which an interlocutory injunction is granted. Prior to the decision in American Cyanamid it was well established that the claimant had to show a strong prima facie case that his rights had been infringed. Lord Upjohn further articulated this in the case of J.T. Stratford and Sons v Lindley, where he noted that the applicant had to first establish that there was a prima facie breach of duty by the respondent to him. In other...
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