Case Note: CONTEMPT OF COURT AND THE LIABILITY OF LAWYERS

Citation(2007) 19 SAcLJ 160
Date01 December 2007
Published date01 December 2007

Pertamina Energy Trading Ltd v Karaha Bodas Co LLC [2007] SGCA 10

The doctrine of contempt of court exists primarily to safeguard the integrity of legal proceedings for the benefit of litigants and the general public. This case is of significance to practitioners because it helpfully sets out the requirements that must be established before parties and non-parties can be found liable for contempt in respect of the breach of a court order. The Court of Appeal also sets out what it thinks lawyers should do when they are uncertain as to whether a proposed course of action would be in breach of a Singapore court order.

I. Introduction

1 The recent decision of the Court of Appeal in Pertamina Energy Trading Ltd v Karaha Bodas Co LLC1 raises important issues in relation to the doctrine of contempt of court.

2 The contempt proceedings arose out of an unusual factual matrix — the party in whose favour the injunction had been granted was being accused by the party against whom the injunction had been granted of having thwarted or frustrated the operation of the injunction as well as breaching an implied undertaking to the court.

3 On 22 December 2004, Karaha Bodas Co LLC...

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