Hadkinson v Hadkinson: CA 1952

The courts adopt an approach similar to that of the United States courts where there has been a significant contempt on the part of a party to litigation. Denning LJ said: ‘Those cases seem to me to point the way to the modern rule. It is a strong thing for a court to refuse to hear a party to a cause, and it is only to be justified by great considerations of public policy. It is a step which a court will only take when the party itself impedes the course of justice and there is no other effective means of securing his compliance . . Applying this principle, I am of the opinion that the fact that a party to a cause has disobeyed an order of the court is not of itself a bar to his being heard, but if his disobedience is such that, so long as it continues it impedes the course of justice in the cause by making it more difficult for the court to ascertain the truth or enforce the orders which it may make, then the court may, in its discretion, refuse to hear him until the impediment is removed or good reason is shown why it should not be removed.’
Romer LJ said: ‘It is the plain and unqualified obligation of every person against, or in respect of whom, an order is made by a court of competent jurisdiction, to obey it unless and until that order is discharged. The uncompromising nature of this obligation is shown by the fact that it extends even to cases where the person affected by an order believes it to be irregular or even void.’
Denning LJ, Romer LJ
[1952] P 285, [1952] FLR 287
England and Wales
CitedChuck v Cremer 24-Jul-1846
The plaintiff’s solicitor obtained an attachment against the defendant in default of a pleaded defence, disregarding a court order extending the period for filing the defence, which he considered to be a nullity. The order in question had been . .

Cited by:
CitedBarnette v Government of the United States of America; United States Government v Montgomery (No 2) CA 24-Mar-2003
The appellant sought to resist the registration here of a confiscation order made in the US. She argued it would be contrary to the interests of justice to register it, that the US procedure would be unlawful here under the Convention, the appeal . .
ApprovedX Ltd v Morgan-Grampian (Publishers) Ltd HL 1990
In a case where a contemnor not only fails wilfully and contumaciously to comply with an order of the court but makes it clear that he will continue to defy the court’s authority if the order should be affirmed on appeal, the court must have a . .
CitedMotorola Credit Corporation v Uzan and others (No 2) CA 12-Jun-2003
World-wide freezing orders had been made under the 1982 Act. The defendants were members of a Turkish family with substantial business interests in the telecommunications industry. In breach of orders made in the US some defendants had sought to . .
CitedA, Regina (on the Application of) v Harrow Crown Court and others Admn 14-Aug-2003
The applicant sought his release from detention in hospital, correction of records at the Crown Court, and confirmation that his detention had infringed his human rights. He had been accused of two assaults, but was found unfit to plead under . .
CitedB v B (Residence: Imposition of conditions) CA 28-May-2004
The court was asked whether it had jurisdiction to hear applications with regard to a child removed from Scotland. The father lived in Scotland, and the mother and child in England. The child had been habitually resident in Scotland and removed to . .
CitedIn Re Swaptronics Ltd ChD 24-Jul-1998
A party who was in contempt of court should not be debarred from continuing to take a proper part in a court action unless that contempt was serious enough seriously to interfere with the fair conduct of the trial. ‘The courts need powers of . .
CitedArrow Nominees Inc, Blackledge v Blackledge ChD 2-Nov-1999
The applicants sought to strike out a claim under section 459. The two companies sold toiletries, the one as retail agent for the other. They disputed the relationship of the companies, and the use of a trading name. Documents were disclosed which . .
CitedPolanski v Conde Nast Publications Ltd HL 10-Feb-2005
The claimant wished to pursue his claim for defamation against the defendant, but was reluctant to return to the UK to give evidence, fearing arrest and extradition to the US. He appealed refusal of permission to be interviewed on video tape. Held . .
CitedCrown Prosecution Service v T Admn 5-Apr-2006
The prosecutor appealed after the district judge had at first granted an anti-social behaviour order, but had later thought it too wide and that it was unenforceable and void.
Held: the district judge had exceeded his powers. There were . .
ApprovedIsaacs v Robertson PC 13-Jun-1984
(St Vincent and The Grenadines) Where the point at issue before the Board was as to a point of procedure with no direct comparable provision in UK law, the Board of the Privy Council should be reluctant to depart from the interpretation set down by . .
CitedIn re W (Children) FD 25-Jul-2014
. .
CitedIn re S (A Child) (Family Division: Without Notice Orders) FD 2001
Munby J considered the the duty of full and frank disclosure which exists on those who seek to use a without notice procedure within Children proceedings. Generally, when granting ex parte injunctive relief in the Family Division, the court will . .
CitedRe W (A Child) (A Child) (Adoption Order: Leave to Oppose) CA 16-Oct-2013
Sir James Munby discussed the lamentable failure by a local authority to comply with an order of the court: ‘That the parents and their representatives should have been put in this position is quite deplorable. It is, unhappily, symptomatic of a . .
CitedMajera, Regina (on The Application of v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 20-Oct-2021
The Court was asked whether the Government (or, indeed, anyone else) can lawfully act in a manner which is inconsistent with an order of a judge which is defective, without first applying for, and obtaining, the variation or setting aside of the . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 26 October 2021; Ref: scu.180304