Hearing Process

The conduct of enforcement proceedings is governed by the Procedural Rules found in the Investment Dealer and Partially Consolidated Rules 8200 through 8400 and the Mutual Fund Dealer Rules of Procedures.

Disciplinary proceedings are commenced and carried out by CIRO Enforcement. Respondents in disciplinary proceedings may be individual advisors or Dealer Member firms, who have allegedly engaged in misconduct resulting in breaches of the Investment Dealer and Partially Consolidated Rules or the Mutual Fund Dealer Rules. Ultimately, a disciplinary matter will be heard and decided by an independent hearing panel.

There are different types of hearings, e.g., first appearance, prehearing conference, motion, settlement hearing, liability hearing (a.k.a. hearing on the merits) and sanction hearings. These may proceed in a different format, including in-person, in writing, a fully electronic or a hybrid mode.

A proceeding may be commenced by a Notice of Hearing, Notice of Motion or Notice of Application. Enforcement Staff may also file a Statement of Allegations setting out alleged facts and contraventions. A Respondent has a set time to provide a Response. All documents to be used in a hearing must be served and filed with the Hearing Office.

At the hearing, a hearing panel will consider the evidence and submissions presented by the parties, i.e., Enforcement Staff and Respondent(s), and decide on the case in a manner that is fair, just and in the public interest.

The hearing panel will then make a decision, which is typically rendered in writing following the hearing. Sometimes, hearing panels deliver decisions orally at the end of the hearing and follow with their Reasons for Decision in writing after the hearing.

Please see Guide to Hearings for more information.

How to request a hearing date

To request a hearing date, be it a settlement hearing, prehearing conference, motion, liability or penalty hearing, the party making a request needs to fill out the Hearing Date Request Form (PDF) and send it to the Hearing Office at [email protected].

How to respond to the allegations

A Respondent must serve Enforcement Staff and file a Response with the Hearing Office within 30 days from the date of service of a Notice of Hearing under the Investment Dealer and Partially Consolidated Rules and 20 days for proceedings under the Mutual Funds Dealer Rules.

A Response must contain:

  • the facts the Respondent admits,
  • the facts the Respondent denies and the ground for denial, and
  • all other facts the Respondent relies on.

How to file documents

To file a document, it must be first served on the opposing party. With a proof of service, the document can be emailed to the Hearing Office at [email protected] for filing. Documents may also be filed by courier or mail delivered to the Hearing Office at:

Canadian Investment Regulatory Organization
Hearing Office
Suite 2600, 40 Temperance Street
Toronto, ON, M5H 0B4

All documents to be used at a hearing should be uploaded by the parties to Case Center. The documents uploaded to Case Center are not considered to be “filed” unless specifically requested by the party and accepted for filing by the Hearing Office. For more information on the use of Case Center in CIRO proceedings, please view the Case Center best practices and resources.