Self-Represented Parties

Respondents subject to enforcement or regulatory proceedings may choose to be represented by a lawyer, a paralegal or an agent, where permitted by law.

Individual Respondents may also represent themselves and appear before CIRO hearing panels without a lawyer, i.e., self-represent. This right comes with a responsibility to learn about the processes, the rules and the law that relate to your case. You may consult relevant Procedural Rules & Guidance as well as the Guide to Hearings and other resources under Hearings.

Resources for finding a lawyer

You may be able to find legal resources and representation by contacting the following organizations in your region:

If you choose to represent yourself, please review the Guide to Hearings and consult other resources on the hearing process on this website.

    It is important to timely serve and file a Response to the allegations against you. The purpose of the Response is to identify which facts and allegations are disputed among those listed in the Notice of Hearing and Statement of Allegations. In your Response, you must set out each allegation listed in the Notice of Hearing and provide your own description of the relevant facts.

    If you fail to provide a Response, a hearing panel may proceed with the hearing as set out in the Notice of Hearing, accept as proven the facts and contraventions set out in the Statement of Allegations and order significant sanctions and costs against you.

    For more information, see the Guide to Hearings.

    If you choose not to attend your hearing, Enforcement Staff may ask the hearing panel to proceed with the hearing even if you are not there.

    You may attend your hearing and call witnesses in-person or electronically (via Webex).

    You may request a demo session to prepare for a virtual or hybrid hearing by emailing the Hearing Office at [email protected].

    Prior to your hearing, you will receive documents from Enforcement Staff, commonly referred to as "disclosure". It is essential that you review that disclosure before the hearing and also disclose any other documents you intend to rely on in your defence. A party who does not disclose a document in compliance with Investment Dealer and Partially Consolidated Rule 8417 (3) and (4) and Rule 10.3(1) of the Mutual Fund Dealer Rules of Procedure may not introduce in evidence or refer to the document at a hearing without leave of the hearing panel.

    To present evidence at a hearing, you may choose to call witnesses (including yourself).

    If you choose to call a witness, you will need to provide their name along with a summary of what the witness will say at the hearing. Copies of the witness list and statements must be sent to Enforcement Staff and the Hearing Office ([email protected]) in advance of the hearing.

    You can make submissions in your defence at the hearing. Sometimes, submissions may be made in writing instead or in addition to verbal submissions at the hearing. Submissions are arguments in response to the allegations made against you, supported by the evidence and the applicable law. As a Respondent, you will be delivering your submissions after Enforcement Staff, who may deliver a reply after you conclude your submissions.

    The investment Dealer and Partially Consolidated Rule 8423 and Rule 13 of the Mutual Fund Dealer Rules of Procedure set out the order in which a hearing must be conducted. Generally, the order is:

    1. Enforcement Staff make an opening address,
    2. The Respondent may choose to make an opening address right away or choose to wait until #5 below,
    3. Enforcement Staff present their evidence and examine their witnesses,
    4. The Respondent may cross-examine each of Enforcement Staff’s witnesses,
    5. The Respondent may choose to make an opening address at this time,
    6. The Respondent presents their evidence and examines their witnesses,
    7. Enforcement Staff may cross-examine each of the Respondent’s witnesses,
    8. Enforcement Staff may present evidence in reply,
    9. If the hearing panel permits, the parties may serve and file submissions in writing on facts and legal argument,
    10. Enforcement Staff may make closing submissions,
    11. The Respondent may make closing submissions,
    12. Enforcement Staff may reply to any new issues raised by the Respondent.

    You may discuss settlement with Enforcement Staff at any time. Your discussions with Enforcement Staff are private and without prejudice. You may receive lesser sanctions and avoid costs and inconvenience of a hearing. A settlement will require you to admit to a contravention of the Rules and agree to a sanction. To be effective and binding, the settlement agreement will have to be accepted by a hearing panel.

    All documents used during a hearing must be uploaded to Case Center prior to the hearing (in addition to serving Enforcement Staff and filing the documents with the Hearing Office ([email protected]). You can then use Case Center to present documents or make submissions during the hearing.

    In preparation for your hearing, you may request a demo for Case Center and/or Webex, which will be used for an electronic or hybrid hearing, with the Hearing Office at [email protected].

    Hearing panel decisions can be reviewed by the relevant securities regulatory authorities.

    Generally, there is a 30-day time limit from the date of the decision for either party to initiate a review.