Disregarding an Invalid Order

If a regulator makes a flawed order, can the practitioner simply ignore it? Alberta’s highest court says “no”. In Alberta Securities Commission v Felgate, 2022 ABCA 107 (CanLII), https://canlii.ca/t/jnbz7 the regulator made an interim order banning an individual from trading in securities. The order was flawed in that, under the wording of the legislation, it should not have been made before the proceedings actually commenced. The individual breached the order and was convicted of an offence. The individual challenged the conviction on the basis that the interim order was invalid. The Court said:

The appellant, however, had three remedies:

A. He could have (but did not) make submissions about the proper form of the order at the hearing;

B. He could have appealed the order to the Court of Appeal under s. 38; or

C. He could at any time have applied it to vary or terminate the order under s. 214.

What the appellant was not entitled to do was to simply ignore the order and trade in securities as he wished ….

Practitioners who ignore an order because they do not think it is valid are taking a significant risk.

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