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Damages in lieu of injunction

The circumstances in which a court will grant damages in lieu of an injunction was most recently dealt with on an authoritative basis in Jaggard v Sawyer (1995). This page contains an introduction to the law in this area and details of three recent cases.

The first case deals with the assessment of damages where the court orders damages in lieu of an injunction in a boundary dispute (Privy Council). The second case is more generally concerned with the assessment of damages in lieu and the different methods used; and in particular with the date of the assessment (Court of Appeal). The third case contains a discussion of (i) compensatory damages, (ii) mesne profits, (3) consequential damages and (4) exemplary damages.

See also the cases on the page dealing with Enforcement of restrictive covenants and the right to light cases.


Will damages be awarded in lieu?

Even if on the face of it the claimant is entitled to an injunction the court nonetheless has power to refuse to order an injunction and instead to award damages in lieu. The principles under which this occurs are set out in Jaggard v Sawyer [1994] EWCA Civ 1, citing the famous "good working rule" in Shelfar (1895). Damages may be awarded in lieu of an injunction:
    (1) If the injury to the plaintiff's legal rights is small,
    (2) And is one which is capable of being estimated in money,
    (3) And is one which can be adequately compensated by a small money payment,
    (4) And the case is one in which it would be oppressive to the defendant to grant an injunction.
Sir Thomas Bingham MR in Jaggard v Sawyer considered that the issue was essentially one of oppression, at p810:
    "It is important to bear in mind that the test is one of oppression, and the court should not slide into application of a general balance of convenience test. But oppression must be judged as at the date the court is asked to grant an injunction, and (as Brightman J recognised in the Wrotham Park case) the court cannot ignore the reality with which it is then confronted. It is relevant that the plaintiff could at an early stage have sought interlocutory relief, which she would seem very likely to ha ... THIS IS AN EXTRACT OF THE FULL TEXT. TO GET THE FULL TEXT, SEE BELOW

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