All parties are equal before the law and are subject to, and must obey, the same procedural rules, deadlines and court orders, whether or not they are a member of a royal family.
A very sound decision of the Supreme Court, which also highlights that appellate courts will not interfere with or undermine case management decisions of the first instance court, as well as the importance of the parties complying with court orders. The Supreme Court re- affirmed that sanctions for non-compliance against the defaulting party are inevitable.
HRH Prince Abdulaziz Bin Mishal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud brought the appeal after failing to reverse a series of orders called for him to personally sign a witness statement and pay $7.7m into the court. The disputed orders were made by Mr Justice Vox, Mr Justice Norris and Mr Justice Mann last year and resulted in the prince being debarred, a punishment he argued was unjust and disproportionate (9 September 2014).But today the Supreme Court upheld the decisions of Vos J, Norris J and Mann J, ruling that the decisions were “individually unassailable”. Giving the lead judgment Lord Neuberger disagreed with the prince’s argument that the impact of the orders was disproportionate and said that sanctions were the necessary and automatic consequence of disobedience in the courts (15 January 2014).