Sentencing Considerations for Contempt of Court for Holding Out and Use of Title

In College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia v Ezzati, 2020 BCSC 339, the Court had to decide what sentence to impose on an unregistered person who held themselves out as able to practise medicine and used protected titles such as “physician” and “Doctor”. The Court identified the following factors as relevant to that decision:

  1. the gravity of the offence (in this case disregarding a court order);
  2. the need to deter the offender;
  3. the past record and character of the offender (e.g., is this a first finding);
  4. the need to protect the public from the offender’s conduct;
  5. the ability of the offender to pay a fine; and
  6. the “extent to which the breach was flagrant and wilful and intended to defy the court’s authority”.

In applying those considerations to the conduct of this individual, the Court imposed a fine of $5,000.

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