Wording of Restraining Orders

The wording of restraining orders is definitely an art, rather than a science. In the past courts have encouraged such orders to be worded as specifically as possible, and not to simply follow the wording of the statute, so as to make its scope clearer and its enforcement easier: Law Society of Saskatchewan v Mattison, 2015 SKQB 323, http://canlii.ca/t/glpws. However, the law of unintended consequences can supersede all. In College of Midwives of British Columbia v Lemay, 2018 BCSC 1827, http://canlii.ca/t/hvp09, the regulator obtained an injunction against an unregistered person preventing her from performing various midwifery procedures or holding herself out as a midwife. Subsequently the enabling legislation was amended changing some of the language used to describe the regulated activities. While the changes were not substantive, it became less clear what the individual was prohibited from doing. The regulator sought, and obtained, an order from the Court amending the wording of the restraining order to ensure that its manifest intent of preventing the individual from practising midwifery was maintained. Interestingly, the revised wording of the order required compliance with the legislation as it was worded from time to time. The specific prohibited activities were removed from the order.

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