Indemnities and Consequential Orders – the Avoidance of Sterile and Technical Objections – CH v WH [2017] EWHC 2379: Mostyn J.


The courts exercising family jurisdiction have a long tradition of not being constrained by the limits of the specific application placed before the court. A master of the matrimonial law, Lord Justice Ormrod in Ward v Ward & Greene (1980) 1 AER 176 observed, at the end of an appeal in which it had been suggested that the court could not under the (then un-amended) s 24 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 make an order for sale without there also being a pro form summons before the Court under s 17 of the Married Women’s Property Act 1882, as follows:-

‘Before leaving the appeal finally, however, there is one point with which I want to deal… For my part, I have never understood the advantages of multiplying pieces of paper intituled in particular statutes named at the head of the summons.

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