Broomleigh Housing Association Ltd v Okonkwo: CA 13 Oct 2010

The court considered an application for committal where the evidence was not so conclusive as to allow committal, but where a suspended order might assist in ensuring better compliance. O had failed on several occasions to attend court to be questioned as to his means. Eventually a suspended order was made, but the defendant denied receiving notice of the earlier hearing.
Held: The appeals were allowed. Whatever the practical sense, the decision in Islamic Investment was, it was inconsistent with such orders being made routinely: ‘Rule 71.8 gives the court power to make a committal order, but that requires the exercise of discretion, which in turn requires consideration of the circumstances of the contempt. Committing a person to prison for contempt of court is a serious step, too serious, in my view, to be undertaken simply as a matter of routine without enquiring into the nature of the contempt and the circumstances in which it has been committed and giving reasons, at any rate briefly, for the decision. ‘

Carnwath, Moore-Bick, Wilson LJJ
[2010] EWCA Civ 1113, [2010] 42 EG 104, [2011] HLR 5, [2011] CP Rep 4
Civil Procedure Rules 71.8
England and Wales
CitedIslamic Investment Company of the Gulf (Bahamas) Ltd v Symphony Gems Nv and others CA 11-Mar-2008
The judgment debtor was ordered to attend for questioning under Rule 71.2. The attendance was adjourned several times, and at last to 31st January 2008. He was under investigation in India and needed permission to travel, which was given but only . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court, Litigation Practice

Updated: 31 October 2021; Ref: scu.425187