MBR Acres Ltd and Others v McGivern: QBD 2 Aug 2022

Contempt Procedures Not to be abused

Reasons for dismissal of contempt application.
Held: The contempt application against Ms McGivern was dismissed and certified as being totally without merit.
The court does not grant injunctions to parties to litigation to be used as a weapon against those perceived to be opponents. Once Ms McGivern had provided evidence confirmed by a statement of truth that she had no knowledge of the injunction, the claimants should have taken stock as to the prospect of success of the contempt application and, particularly, whether there was a real prospect of the court imposing any sanction for the alleged breaches.
‘Instead of doing so, the claimants embarked on what proved to be a hopeless attempt to impeach Ms McGivern’s transparently honest evidence by witness summonsing a police officer. This was not a proportionate or even rational way to approach litigation of this seriousness.’


The Honourable Mr Justice Nicklin


[2022] EWHC 2072 (QB)


Bailii, Judiciary


England and Wales


CitedCameron v Liverpool Victoria Insurance Co Ltd SC 20-Feb-2019
The Court was asked in what circumstances is it permissible to sue an unnamed defendant? The respondent was injured when her car collided with another. The care was insured but by a driver giving a false name. The car owner refused to identify him. . .
See AlsoMBR Acres Limited and Others v Free The MBR Beagles and Others QBD 20-Jun-2022
Grant of injunction to restrain animal rights protesters. . .
See AlsoMBR Acres Ltd and Others v Free The MBR Beagles and Others QBD 31-Mar-2022
. .
CitedBirmingham City Council v Afsar and Others QBD 18-Jun-2019
The Council sought an interim order restraining a protest outside one of it junior schools against the teaching of certain matters relating to sexual behaviour, sexuality, and gender. The named defendants and, it would appear, a significant . .
CitedLondon Borough of Barking and Dagenham and Another v Persons Unknown and Others CA 13-Jan-2022
Cases in which local authorities have sought interim and sometimes then final injunctions against unidentified and unknown persons who may in the future set up unauthorised encampments on local authority land. These persons have been collectively . .
CitedSouth Cambridgeshire District Council v Gammell and Others CA 31-Oct-2005
Where proceedings were brought against unnamed persons and interim relief was granted to restrain specified acts, a person became both a defendant and a person to whom the injunction was addressed by doing one of those acts.
As to capturing . .
CitedCanada Goose UK Retail Ltd and Another v Unknown Persons CA 5-Mar-2020
‘This appeal concerns the way in which, and the extent to which, civil proceedings for injunctive relief against ‘persons unknown’ can be used to restrict public protests.’ . .
CitedCuciurean v The Secretary of State for Transport and Another CA 16-Mar-2021
Appeal against findings of contempt of court by breach of an injunction prohibiting trespass on land, and against the sanctions imposed. The breaches were committed as part of a protest against the construction of the HS2 railway line.
Held: . .
CitedBrowne v Dunn HL 1893
Where counsel has with regard to a witness, ‘an intention to impeach the credibility of the story he is telling’, he must give that witness notice of his intention by putting that to him during cross examination, unless such intention was entirely . .
CitedMarkem Corporation and Another v Zipher Ltd CA 22-Mar-2005
A patent which was applied for as a result of a breach of confidence may be capable of giving the victim of the breach the benefit of an interest in the patent. In the UK at least the basis of an entitlement claim must be a breach of the claimant’s . .
CitedFW Farnsworth v Lacy and Others ChD 10-Jun-2013
. .
CitedGriffiths v TUI (UK) Ltd CA 7-Oct-2021
Whether and if so, in what circumstances, the court can evaluate and reject what is described as an ‘uncontroverted’ expert’s report. The question arises in the context of a claim in respect of gastric illness allegedly suffered as a result of . .
CitedAbdulrida and Others v Al-Najar and Others ChD 24-Feb-2021
. .
CitedNeurim Pharmaceuticals (1991) Ltd and Another v Generics UK Ltd (T/A Mylan) PatC 4-Dec-2020
Threat of infringement . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court

Updated: 04 August 2022; Ref: scu.679849