The test for varying a final order

The claimant applied to vary an order. The defendant sought to argue that it is not possible to vary a final order. That argument was rejected by Smith J. The power to vary or revoke an order is contained in CPR r3.1(7) and there is no restriction in that rule on the type of order which can be varied or revoked. In any event, the judge found that the order in issue in this case had not been final.

The judge concluded that the court has a very wide discretion under CPR r3.1(7). Contrary to prior caselaw, he held that there is no essential requirement that the applicant establish some material change of circumstances since the order was made (although that might generally be required by the court). In general, though, the court will not allow a party to re-run a previous hearing on precisely the same material. Furthermore, a court will generally be less favourably inclined to consider a review of a final decision.

Taking into account all the circumstances of this case, the application was granted.