prior restraint

Show Summary Details

Quick Reference

The taking of legal action before an anticipated wrongdoing. Remedies to prevent a threatened illegality from taking place include the use of injunction or prohibition and declaration. In English law, an injunction may take the form of either a negative or positive requirement, depending on how best to deal with the illegality. In order to obtain an injunction, the plaintiff must show he has an arguable point of law and that on the balance of convenience an injunction ought to be given.

A prohibition will prevent any further action or wrongdoing, in effect telling the offending party to proceed no further. A declaration will issue to declare rights and clarify legal doubts over any potential dispute. Once awarded a prohibition, declaration, or injunction is effective against any potential wrongdoer, within the terms of the courts' decision. American law, especially the First Amendment, outlaws many forms of prior restraint used in Britain, where reformers claim that it has protected rich bullies and fraudsters such as Robert Maxwell.

John McEldowney


Subjects: Politics — Law.

Reference entries

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.