Balance of Convenience in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • N.W.L. Ltd v Woods
    • House of Lords
    • 25 Oct 1979

    American Cyanamid v. Ethicon which enjoins the judge upon an application for an interlocutory injunction to direct his attention to the balance of convenience as soon as he has satisfied himself that there is a serious question to be tried, was not dealing with a case in which the grant or refusal of an injunction at that stage would, in effect, dispose of the action finally in favour of whichever party was successful in the application, because there would be nothing left on which it was in the unsuccessful party's interest to proceed to trial.

    Where, however, the grant or refusal of the interlocutory injunction will have the practical effect of putting an end to the action because the harm that will have been already caused to the losing party by its grant or its refusal is complete and of a kind for which money cannot constitute any worthwhile recompense, the degree of likelihood that the plaintiff would have succeeded in establishing his right to an injunction if the action had gone to trial, is a factor to be brought into the balance by the judge in weighing the risks that injustice may result from his deciding the application one way rather than the other.

  • R v Secretary of State for Transport, ex parte Factortame Ltd (No 2)
    • House of Lords
    • 11 Oct 1990

    Conversely, an authority acting in the public interest cannot normally be protected by a remedy in damages because it will itself have suffered none. It follows that, as a general rule, in cases of this kind involving the public interest, the problem cannot be solved at the first stage, and it will be necessary for the court to proceed to the second stage, concerned with the balance of convenience.

    In this context, particular stress should be placed upon the importance of upholding the law of the land, in the public interest, bearing in mind the need for stability in our society, and the duty placed upon certain authorities to enforce the law in the public interest. This is of itself an important factor to be weighed in the balance when assessing the balance of convenience.

  • Brink's Mat Ltd v Elcombe
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 12 Jun 1987

    In one or two other recent cases coming before this court, I have suspected signs of a growing tendency on the part of some litigants against whom ex parte injunctions have been granted, or of their legal advisers, to rush to the R. v. Kensington Income Tax Commissioners principle as a tabula in naufragio, alleging material non-disclosure on sometimes rather slender grounds, as representing substantially the only hope of obtaining the discharge of injunctions in cases where there is little hope of doing so on the substantial merits of the case or on the balance of convenience.

  • The Abidin Daver
    • House of Lords
    • 26 Jan 1984

    In this connection it is right to point out that, if concurrent actions in respect of the same subject-matter proceed together in two different countries, as seems likely if a stay is refused in the present case, one or other of two undesirable consequences may follow: first, there may be two conflicting judgments of the two courts concerned; or, secondly, there may be an ugly rush to get one action decided ahead of the other, in order to create a situation of res judicata or issue estoppel in the latter.

  • Garden Cottage Foods Ltd v Milk Marketing Board
    • House of Lords
    • 23 Jun 1983

    The duration of that period since the state of affairs last changed must be more than minimal, having regard to the total length of the relationship between the parties in respect of which the injunction is granted; otherwise the state of affairs before the last change would be the relevant status quo.

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Books & Journal Articles
    • Nbr. 38-6, November 1975
    • The Modern Law Review
    ...... had been made out, and, considering the balance of convenience favoured maintenance of the status quo, ......
  • ‘Fishing on the Incoming Tide’
    • Nbr. 54-3, May 1991
    • The Modern Law Review
    ...... have to proceed to the second stage and weigh up ‘the balance of convenience. ’ Here again the public interest is relevant ......
  • Associated Newspapers Group Ltd. v. Wade
    • Nbr. 42-6, November 1979
    • The Modern Law Review
    ...... Thus consequently where, as in this case, the balance of con- venience was overwhelmingly in favour of an ... for an injunction to be refusedesa The balance of Convenience in these cases will almost always be in favour of an ......
    • Nbr. 43-3, May 1980
    • The Modern Law Review
    ...... assessment, and its relationship to the “ balance of convenience” must be dealt with in connection with NWL ......
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Law Firm Commentaries
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