Administrative monetary penalties (AMPs) are a civil penalty regime gaining broad application in Canadian regulatory law. Although AMPs resemble fines and can be for significant amounts, it is generally accepted that decisions to impose AMPs are not penal in nature and are therefore immune from Charter scrutiny. Ranjan Agarwal and Sasha Toten discuss the Ontario Court of Appeal's recent decision in Rowan v. Ontario Securities Commission. This decision has two significant implications for corporate officers and for securities regulation generally. First, substantial AMPs may be imposed on corporate officers even in the absence of a breach of the specific Securities Act provision, where their conduct is found to be contrary to the public interest. Second, the courts' power to review imposition of AMPs by securities commissions is circumscribed by a deferential attitude toward securities regulators and a relatively narrow reading of the relevant Charter jurisprudence. Written by Ranjan K. Agarwal and Sasha Toten and published in Volume XVII, No. 3 of Corporate Liability.
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