Injunctions Enforcing Negative Covenants in Personal Service Contracts: A Critical Assessment of Contemporary Developments

Presented at Melbourne Law School Remedies Conference, December 11, 2009

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 11/25

13 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 2011  

Joellen Riley

The University of Sydney Law School

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

Once upon a time, it was safe to assume that a court exercising equitable jurisdiction would not enforce a personal services contract in such a way as to preclude a person from pursuing a career indefinitely. The Sonny Bill Williams case (Bulldogs Rugby League Club v. Williams [2008] NSWSC 822) challenged that assumption. How have we reached the point where an injunction – rather than damages – has come to be the customary remedy for certain breaches of service contracts? And is it time for a careful reassessment of fundamental principles, to ensure that Equity is not complicit in attempts to commodify and enslave labour?

Keywords: injunctions, restrictive covenants, employment contracts

JEL Classification: K10, K30, K31

Suggested Citation

Riley, Joellen, Injunctions Enforcing Negative Covenants in Personal Service Contracts: A Critical Assessment of Contemporary Developments (2009). Presented at Melbourne Law School Remedies Conference, December 11, 2009; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 11/25. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1798987

Joellen Riley (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia
+61 2 9351 0205 (Phone)
+61 2 9351 0200 (Fax)

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