The term is not defined in the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 (“CPR”). However, it has been explained in another context as “using that process for a purpose or in a way significantly different from its ordinary and proper use” (Attorney General v Barker  1 F.L.R. 759).
The categories of abuse of process are many and are not closed. However, the CPR sets out some examples of the potential forms of abuse, which include:
- Vexatious proceedings
- Attempts to re-litigate decided issues
- Collateral attacks upon earlier decisions
- Pointless and wasteful litigation
- Improper collateral purpose
The striking out of a valid claim will always be the last option and any decision to do so will be taken with consideration of the overriding objective.