Proceedings before enforcement committee under Security Services Act apply civil standard of proof

12 October 2017Patrick Bracher, Norton Rose Fulbright
Patrick Bracher

Patrick Bracher

The appellants in Pather v Financial Services Board failed in the suggestion that claims against it of contravention of the Security Services Act 2004 should have been proved by the enforcement committee according to the criminal standard, namely beyond reasonable doubt. The court held that the civil standard applies and that the proceedings and penalty imposed are administrative in nature.

The appellants had published financial statements on the Stock Exchange News Services (SENS) which they knew or ought to have known were false.

They challenged the finding against them on the basis that it should have been proved beyond reasonable doubt that they had such knowledge. It was held that the civil standard applied and the facts had only to be proved on a balance of probabilities.

Because the proceedings and penalty are of an administrative nature, they may be reviewed in a court on grounds of unlawfulness, procedural unfairness or unreasonableness. The finding and penalty were upheld.

First published by: Financial Institutions Legal Snapshot

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