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Strange Bedfellows: The Bachelorette and the Injunction

Viewers of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette (you know who you are) might recall that, just hours before the 2015 season finale aired on Channel 10, The Daily Mail posted an article revealing that – spoiler alert - Sam Frost had chosen Sasha Mielczarek (over Michael Turnbull) to be her ‘one and only’. 

[Note: they have since broken up]

This article by The Daily Mail was the subject of a successful Injunction, which resulted in the article immediately being taken down, saving the romantic ending from being spoiled (well, at least for those who hadn’t already read the article). Although people were probably more interested by Sam’s important decision, this is a great example of when an Injunction can, and should, be made.

So, what is an Injunction?

There are 2 types of Injunctions, namely an ‘Interlocutory Injunction’ and an ‘Interim Injunction’.  

An Interlocutory Injunction is obtained in the course of a proceeding, and remains in place until the Court has made its final determination.  Alternatively, an Interim Injunction is obtained ex parte (i.e. without notice to one or more parties) and is in place until such time that all of the parties ‘have had their day in Court’.  This usually occurs a very short time after the Interim Injunction is granted, often in a matter of days.

In the case of The Bachelorette, Channel 10 sought an Interim Injunction, which it later dissolved, following the airing of the finale, given it was no longer necessary.

When considering whether to grant an Injunction, the Court will ask 2 key questions:

1. Does the Applicant (i.e. the party seeking the Injunction) have a prima facie (or arguable) case?

2. Does the ‘Balance of Convenience’ favour the Applicant?  That is, would the Applicant suffer more damage were the Injunction not granted than what the Defendant would suffer if it were granted.

Injunctions are powerful tools, in that they create binding obligations on one or more parties to do, or not to do, certain things – for The Daily Mail, that was publishing the article.  Given that you may be found to be in ‘contempt of Court’ should you breach that Injunction (an offence which can result in imprisonment), the terms of an Injunction must be complied with.

While an Injunction can be a costly exercise, failing to do so might cost you far more in the long run (or even the short term). If you find yourself in a situation where you believe another party’s conduct might result in you suffering any kind of a loss, you should immediately seek legal advice.  

BY HUGO PRESCOTT / LAWYER, LAW SQUARED