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Interim, interlocutory and final injunctions in defamation law

How do interim, interlocutory and final injunctions generally apply in defamation cases?

At times, an award of monetary damages may simply not be enough to console, repair and vindicate the reputation of the plaintiff. As the saying goes, the “slur remains“, or the “mud sticks“, or you cannot “un-ring that bell“, regardless of the monetary compensation awarded. It is often the scandalous sting of the defamation that is remembered, and less so the monetary outcome of litigation.

In the clearest of cases (as the Court does not like to restrain freedom of speech), the plaintiff may wish to apply for an urgent interim injunction (heard ex parte, in the absence of the defendant) to preserve the status quo for a very brief period of time until both parties can be heard on an interlocutory injunction application, where the plaintiff may wish to seek orders temporarily removing the defamatory publications, and restraining the defendant from publishing any further such publications, until a Trial of the matter.

At the Trial for final relief, the plaintiff may wish to claim a permanent final injunction in addition to claiming damages. The final injunction may require the permanent removal of the defamatory publications and a permanent restraint on the defendant from publishing the defamatory matter complained of or any like matter.


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This commentary is of a general nature only, containing some general information for the reader.

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