Isaac Wunder Orders

AuthorAnthony Moore
PositionLL.B. (Ling. Germ.), LL.M. (Cantab.), B.L.
Isaac Wunder orders are named after the plaintiff in
Wunder v. Irish Hospitals Trust,1 although they predate the
decision in that case, having first arisen in this jurisdiction in
Keaveney v. Geraghty.2 In that case, the plaintiff instituted
proceedings against the defendant claiming damages for libel.
The defendant then applied to have all further proceedings
stayed on the grounds that they were inter alia frivolous,
vexatious and an abuse of process of the court. In the High
Court, Murnaghan J. stayed all further proceedings,
whereupon the plaintiff appealed.
The Supreme Court examined its jurisdiction to
control the administration of the courts, which derived from
two sources, namely its inherent power and the Rules of the
Superior Courts. Walsh J., with whom Haugh and O’Keeffe
JJ. agreed, varied the order of the High Court to provide that
no further proceedings in the action should be taken without
leave of the court.
In Wunder v. Hospitals Trust, Mr. Wunder appealed
against an order of Henchy J. that his action be dismissed on
the grounds that the proceedings were frivolous and
vexatious. The background to the case was that Mr. Wunder
had taken several claims against the defendants claiming
prizes in respect of tickets purchased by him in their
sweepstakes. At trial and on appeal to the Supreme Court
these claims were held to be groundless. In the Supreme
Court, Ó Dálaigh J., having considered the background to the
previous litigation between the parties and the evidence
adduced by them in court, concluded that the proceedings
137 Judicial Studies Institute Journal [1:1
1 Supreme Court, unreported, Walsh, Haugh and O’Keeffe JJ., 24 January
* LL.B. (Ling. Germ.), LL.M. (Cantab.), B.L.

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