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Further powers

If a party without good reason fails to comply with a rule, practice direction or applicable pre-action protocol, the court may order that party to pay a sum of money into court as punishment (r 3.1(5)). When deciding whether to exercise this power, the court, however, must have regard to the amount in dispute and the costs which the parties have incurred or may incur (r 3.1(6)). The court is likely to be proportionate when deciding on the amount a party must pay into court and should ensure that the imposition of this penalty does not make it impossible for a party to continue with the litigation.12 However, a party cannot complain that the amount ordered is difficult for him to pay and a party is likely to have to be prepared to provide full and frank disclosure of his financial circumstances in order to avoid or reduce the amount ordered to be paid into court.13