Canada: Criminal v. Civil: How the Criminal Process Can Impact a Parallel Civil Process

Last Updated: April 18 2017
Article by Elizabeth K.P. Grace

The wrong that constitutes a sexual offence is invariably also actionable before the civil courts. As a civil litigator who both advances and defends civil actions based on sexual misconduct, I often encounter cases where there is or may be an overlap between the criminal and civil justice systems. I believe it behooves both the criminal and the civil bar to have a basic understanding of how proceedings in one forum may affect those in the other, as this can influence the advice we give clients and the strategies we adopt for advancing clients' interests. This article is intended as a primer for criminal lawyers on how the criminal can impact a civil process.

"Need to Knows" About the Civil Justice System

In my experience, there are three basic points that arise regularly in the civil sexual assault context that few lawyers, both civil and criminal, seem to appreciate. I will start by addressing these points.

The first relates to limitation period defences. These are time periods prescribed by statute by which one must sue in order to be entitled to compensation. If one is too late and misses a limitation period, one will be barred from bringing a civil claim for compensation, regardless of the merits of case. While limitation periods are a fundamental feature of our civil system, and certainly one that causes plaintiff lawyers no end of worry and grief, they are not a relevant consideration in sexual assault cases.

The Ontario Legislature in 2016 dispensed with all limitation periods for sexual assault, no matter when, in what circumstances, or by whom it is alleged the sexual assault was committed.1 In fact, the explicit absence of any time-bar in which to sue has been expanded in Ontario beyond "sexual assault" (i.e., where there has been actual physical contact of a sexual nature) to "any other misconduct of a sexual nature" if it involved a minor or occurred in a relationship of inequality or dependency. Online sexualized stalking and harassment would be an example of such "other misconduct". In Ontario, there is also now no limitation period for physical assault where the alleged victim was a minor at the time or it occurred in a domestic or dependent context. Other provinces have enacted, or are in the process of enacting, similar legislative exemptions for limitation periods in sexual assault cases.2 In other words, after years of labouring under restrictive and often uncertain legal rules about when it was too late to sue, the field is now virtually wide open for victims of sexual and physical abuse to sue for compensation.

Second, there is legislation in Ontario, not generally well known by the judiciary or the bar, that provides for a direct right of civil compensation against those convicted of sexual offences. The Ontario Victims' Bill of Rights states that a person convicted of one of a prescribed list of crimes of violence against persons "is liable in damages to the victim of crime for emotional distress and bodily harm" that has occurred as a result.3 Essentially, this means it is not a matter of whether convicted offenders will have to pay compensation for their wrongdoing, but how much they will have to pay.

Ontario's Victims' Bill of Rights goes on to describe how, for certain crimes including sexual and domestic assault, there is a legal presumption of having suffered emotional distress.4 In other words, the onus is on the convicted offender to disprove emotional harm, and not on the victim to prove it. Practically speaking, however, victims are much better off leading evidence to prove the nature and extent of their emotional and other harms if they want to maximize their compensation, and this is generally what happens in a civil sexual assault case. The Victims' Bill of Rights contains additional provisions that operate to the financial disadvantage of those convicted of sexual and other offences who are subsequently named as defendants in civil suits. This includes a higher (i.e., punitive) rate of recovery of legal costs for the victim than is the norm.5

Third, impecuniosity and declaring bankruptcy will not allow someone who is found civilly liable for sexual assault to avoid having to pay a civil judgment for monetary damages. This means that having no money to pay compensation for reasons that may include that the convicted offender spent all his money on his criminal defence, will not save the offender (or his estate) from eventually having to satisfy the judgment. This is because the federal Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act provides for an exception to the general rule that an order for discharge releases a bankrupt from all previous debts. Where the debt arises from a civil court's award for damages based on "bodily harm intentionally inflicted, or sexual assault", the debt survives discharge.6

In short, declaring bankruptcy will not be the "quick fix" or "escape" many assume. The reality is that there is no easy way to escape the obligation to satisfy a judgment debt arising from sexual assault. This judgment quite literally follows the person against whom it is made for life, surviving bankruptcy, and even extending beyond life to become a debt of the offender's estate.

Timing Implications for the Impact of Criminal on Civil Proceedings

The timing of proceedings is critical to understanding a criminal case's potential impact, or lack thereof, on a civil proceeding. The two most common scenarios are: (i) where the criminal proceeding concludes first and results either in a conviction or an acquittal, and then is followed by a civil suit, and (ii) where criminal and civil proceedings run in tandem. I will deal with each of these situations.

The starting point is the Criminal Code which provides that "[n]o civil remedy for an act or omission is suspended or affected by reason that the act or omission is a criminal offence".7 Although there seems to be widespread belief to the contrary – i.e., that a criminal proceeding where liberty is at stake necessarily takes precedence over a civil one which is "only about money" – in fact, a criminal case has very little legal impact on a civil case. The exception is where it has resulted in a conviction, in which case its impact is huge and operates to the detriment of the offender. That being said, a criminal case's practical impact can be significant regardless of its outcome and timing, and it will often influence the course of action taken, both by those who have committed and those who have been subject to alleged sexual assault, and by bystander parties who are often pulled into a lawsuit as parties to it.

(a) Impact of Prior Conviction

Civil lawyers acting for victims of sexual assault always welcome criminal convictions. This is because convictions serve to take one big issue "off the table" – namely, that actionable misconduct occurred. If the offender (or his estate) is a defendant in the lawsuit or intended lawsuit, his conviction all but guarantees he will be liable to his victim for damages. The remaining areas of contention then become whether others who may directly or indirectly have facilitated the sexual assault, such as an employer, are also liable, and how much compensation (i.e., damages) the victim should receive. Sometimes there is also a question, especially where a conviction is based on a plea bargain, as to whether more or worse wrongs were committed than what formed the basis of the conviction and the resulting sentence. If so, these are matters that will have to be litigated in the civil context, but because the backdrop will be one of at least some misconduct having been previously admitted to or found beyond a reasonable doubt to have occurred, the offender will usually be at a disadvantage in defending himself.

A recent decision granting summary judgment against the offender demonstrates this.8 There, the civil court concluded that even though the accused person had been charged with sexual assault but pleaded guilty only to assault and was convicted only of assault, the agreed facts on which his conviction was based clearly evidenced a sexual assault. Indeed, as the convicted offender was a lawyer and his victim his client, the civil court relied on the facts read into evidence by the Crown to find that the lawyer had committed not only a sexual battery, but also breached his fiduciary duty to his client.

The impact of a criminal conviction is specifically addressed in statute. Provincial and territorial Evidence Acts speak to the admissibility and effect of a criminal conviction. The Ontario Evidence Act, for example, provides that proof of a conviction is proof that a crime was committed (so long as it was not successfully appealed, and the time for appeal has expired).9 Importantly, this applies whether or not the convicted person is actually a named defendant in the action, meaning the conviction operates as proof there was wrongdoing even against non-offending defendants to a civil suit.10 Civil lawsuits for sexual assault often name more than just the alleged offender as a defendant. Non-offending persons, like a spouse, an employer, a religious or voluntary organization to which the offender belonged, or the owner of property where the assaults occurred, will often be named as co-defendants with the offender and sometimes will even be sued without the offender being named in the suit, such as where the offender cannot be found, is long deceased, or his presence simply will not add anything of value to the case. Because of the force that a conviction has in a factually overlapping later civil proceeding, the plaintiff in a lawsuit may decide not to wait for trial to obtain a ruling on liability, preferring instead to move for summary judgment on liability to gain an upper hand.11

Basically then, a conviction gives rise to a legal presumption of wrongdoing which, unless rebutted with evidence, is conclusive against all affected parties in a civil suit. The provincial and territorial Evidence Acts do open the door, albeit narrowly, for defendants in civil suits to re-litigate a prior conviction. Thus, the Ontario Evidence Act states that "in the absence of evidence to the contrary", proof of a conviction in Canada is proof that the crime was committed.12 Much ink has been spilled by courts on when a defendant will be permitted to adduce "evidence to the contrary". The leading case on point, which arose out of sexual misconduct in the employment sphere, is Toronto v. CUPE.13 There, the Supreme Court of Canada makes it clear that re-litigation of the facts essential to a conviction will only be allowed in very limited circumstances. The court noted we cannot have a legal system that implies that re-litigation will yield a better, more accurate result, or that allows scarce resources of courts, litigants and witnesses to be wasted on a second proceeding that may reach the same conclusion as the first, or that tolerates inconsistencies between decisions and lack of finality, except where to do so advances the administration of justice. The doctrine of abuse of process, which aims to protect the integrity of the justice system as a whole, is the mechanism by which the courts police attempts to re-litigate criminal convictions.

Under this doctrine, the onus is on the convicted party, or the non-offending defendant in the civil suit who seeks to challenge the wrongdoing that the conviction represents, to prove that re-litigation would prevent a potential miscarriage of justice. Examples of when a litigant will be permitted to challenge a prior conviction include: (i) if it can be shown the first proceeding was tainted by fraud or dishonesty, (ii) if fresh evidence not previously available conclusively "impeaches" the original result, (iii) if the issues in the two proceedings are sufficiently different, and (iv) if "fairness" dictates that the criminal result should not be binding in the subsequent civil case. The courts have suggested that the "fairness" exception may be triggered where there was not an adequate incentive to defend in the first proceeding (as the Supreme Court put it, "the stakes were too minor to generate a full and robust defence"),14 or where there was a lack of effective legal representation in the criminal proceeding.15

Perhaps not surprisingly, the effect of Toronto v. CUPE has been to preclude virtually any re-litigation in subsequent civil lawsuits of the essential facts underlying previous criminal convictions. As a result, what criminal defence lawyers need to know is that if their clients are convicted of a sexual offence, those clients should expect to be sued for damages at some point in their future. Even after they die, their estates may be subject to claims arising from sexual misconduct.16

(b) Impact of Prior Acquittal

An acquittal is not necessarily the good news one might assume when it comes to facing a subsequent civil lawsuit. This is the case both from a liability and from a damages perspective.

Unlike convictions, acquittals have no beneficial legal effect on liability in a subsequent civil proceeding that is based on the same alleged wrongdoing that resulted in the acquittal. I often rely on the highly publicized case from the United States of football player O. J. Simpson as a shorthand way to illustrate how this can be: we all know that even though O. J. was acquitted in a criminal court of murdering his wife, the family of his deceased wife established in civil court that he was liable in damages for killing her. The reason for this apparent discrepancy is twofold. First, an acquittal is a statement not of innocence or that no offence was committed, but rather of reasonable doubt as to whether that offence was committed. Second, the standard of proof in a civil case is lower than in a criminal case – proof on a balance of probabilities, or 51% or greater probability it happened, can often be established where proof beyond a reasonable doubt cannot. As M. Rosenberg J.A. observed in one of the leading cases in this area that arose from allegations by a patient of being sexually abused by a hospital nurse:

A finding in the civil case that the defendant probably committed the criminal act of which he or she was acquitted does not undermine the credibility of a system that found there was a reasonable doubt. Thus, it is not a question of whether re-litigation has led to a more accurate result; the system contemplates that different results are possible because of the different burdens of proof.17

Civil courts have taken a hard line on the legal effect of acquittals, finding they are generally irrelevant to a civil suit for damages based on the same alleged misconduct and, therefore, are inadmissible.18 The Ontario Court of Appeal confirmed this is the case even where a criminal trial judge gave reasons for acquittal that expressed an opinion that no wrongdoing had occurred, as opposed to simply concluding there was a reasonable doubt as to whether an offence was committed.19 This is because it is the verdict, not the reasons, that is relevant when determining the legal effect of an acquittal on a subsequent civil proceeding.20

This is not to say, however, that an acquittal does not have practical implications for a subsequent civil suit. It does. Obviously, if the complainant or another important Crown witness was discredited, or other significant problems with the Crown's case emerged during the course of the criminal proceedings that contributed to the acquittal, then as a practical matter, the acquittal is going to impact a later civil proceeding. It would be folly to think otherwise. Thus, unless the problems that came to light through the criminal case can be overcome, and remember that in a civil case, the alleged offender is compellable and the alleged victim has party standing and, so, is able to exercise direct control over the case to be advanced, it is unlikely a subsequent civil suit will be brought, or if brought be successful.

From a damages perspective, an acquittal is a negative factor for the alleged offender who is sued civilly. While the civil justice system is geared to compensation, not punishment, it does allow for punitive damages where a defendant's misconduct is so bad it warrants condemnation and deterrence. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that punitive damages are, unlike in most other areas of civil litigation, a common feature in civil sexual abuse cases. However, where an alleged offender was already convicted for his wrongdoing, it is very unlikely a civil court will deem it necessary to further "punish" him through an award for punitive damages as doing so could amount to "double punishment" for the same wrongdoing.21 The converse is true for the acquitted defendant who is subsequently found civilly liable. The court will likely view this person as having escaped punishment and will be more inclined to add to the compensation award an amount for punitive damages to reflect, in effect, a civil "fine".22

Concurrent Proceedings: "Staying" the Civil in Favour of the Criminal

Although this is something I as civil counsel try to avoid for a variety of reasons, what sometimes happens is that criminal and civil proceedings end up running in tandem. In this situation, it is a common misperception that the criminal trumps the civil. The Criminal Code is unequivocal: there is no automatic suspension or deferral of the civil in favour of the criminal.23 Nonetheless, civil courts do retain the discretion to stay a civil action pending disposition of an ongoing parallel criminal proceeding, and will do so in exceptional or extraordinary circumstances where there is a real risk that the right to a fair criminal trial will be seriously prejudiced by the continuation of the civil case.

The biggest concern criminal defence lawyers tend to have with a parallel civil process is that their client, the alleged offender, is compellable. Indeed, as part of the civil pre-trial discovery process, an alleged offender will have to produce all relevant, non-privileged documents in his possession, power or control and to submit to an oral examination under oath. In my experience, Crown attorneys are often also uncomfortable when there is an ongoing parallel civil proceeding and would be much happier to see it delayed until after the criminal case has been concluded. The Crown's concern usually centers around the possibility that the evidence will be tainted, or perceived as tainted, thereby undermining the chances for a conviction in an otherwise meritorious case.

The leading case on a stay of a civil action in favour of a criminal proceeding remains Gillis v. Eagleson.24 This was one of those very rare cases where a stay of the civil suit was actually ordered. In other words, exceptional circumstances were found to justify this unusual step. Here, discredited hockey legend Alan Eagleson was the subject of criminal charges in the United States, and therefore, lacked the Charter protections afforded to him if he had been charged in Canada. These protections include the right against self-incrimination and to derivative use immunity, grounded in sections 13 and 7 of the Charter, respectively. However, in Gillis v. Eagleson, the stay of the civil suit was ordered on terms designed to safeguard the plaintiff's rights – i.e., that in exchange for a deferral of the civil case against him, Eagleson would have to pay into court $40,000 (in 1995, U.S. dollars). This was to address the concern that his assets might otherwise be depleted in the course of him defending himself criminally.

When one considers how the principles in Gillis v. Eagleson, a case that had nothing to do with sexual assault, have been applied in the sexual abuse context, it is clear courts have taken a dim view of impeding in any way the progress of a civil suit, and will do so only in the rarest of circumstances. This is because a stay in a civil proceeding is an extraordinary remedy amounting to an injunction. While potential prejudice to the accused person will obviously feature large given that liberty is at stake, the prejudice to the alleged victim who has a right to seek compensation through the civil courts will not be lightly discounted.

The case of Belanger v. Caughell illustrates how reluctant the courts are to stay a civil suit in favour of a criminal proceeding.25 There, a doctor had been charged with aggravated sexual assault based on the same facts in contention in the ongoing civil proceeding. The doctor moved for a stay of the civil process on the basis that being compelled to answer questions in the civil discovery process would make his defence known to his accuser before she had to give her evidence in the criminal proceeding. The doctor further argued that as credibility would be the fundamental issue at his criminal trial, his right to a fair criminal trial would be compromised. The court hearing the stay motion was not swayed by these arguments, noting that section 7 of the Charter does not entitle an accused person to the most favourable procedures, but only to ones that are consistent with the principles of the fundamental justice. The court concluded that the protections afforded to the doctor under the Charter were sufficient, and declined to order a stay.

My experience is that those on the criminal side tend to view the civil justice system with, at best, suspicion and distrust, and at worst, contempt. It strikes me that these sentiments are often driven by misperceptions and inadequate knowledge of how the other system actually works. Understanding the actual legal repercussions, or lack thereof, of one type of proceeding on another is, in my view, an essential step to formulating effective legal and practical strategies for advancing clients' interests, whichever side of the case one is on.

Elizabeth Grace is a partner in the Toronto office of Lerners LLP and the co-author of the book, Civil Liability for Sexual Abuse and Violence in Canada (Toronto: Butterworths, 2000).

The author thanks articling student Noorain Shethwala for her research contribution to this paper, which ensured that the most authoritative and up to date sources were relied upon.

1Bill 132, officially known as the Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (Supporting Survivors and Challenging Sexual Violence and Harassment), received Royal Assent on March 8, 2016. Among other things, it introduced sweeping amendments to the provisions of the Ontario Limitations Act, 2002, S.O. 2002, c. 24, Sch. B which addressed claims based on sexual and physical assault.

2For example, in Manitoba an action may be commenced at any time if the assault was sexual, or at the time of a physical assault, the person with the claim was in a relationship of intimacy with the person alleged to have committed the assault, or otherwise dependent on that person: The Limitation of Actions Act, C.P.S.M., c. L150. Nova Scotia recently amended its legislation to similarly exempt a claim "based on misconduct of a sexual nature" and a physical assault claim where there was a relationship of intimacy or dependency from any limitation period: Limitation of Actions Act, SNS 2014, c. 35. Alberta is currently in the process of revamping its legislation to retroactively remove any limitation period for claims of sexual assault, sexual misconduct (including stalking or sending inappropriate text messages or photos), and physical assault on minors, dependents and partners: see "Alberta to End Time Limit on Civil Suits Around Sexual or Domestic Violence", the Canadian Press, March 7, 2017.

3Victims' Bill of Rights, 1995, S.O. 1995, c. 6, s. 3(1).

4Ibid, s. 3(2).

5Ibid, s. 4.

6Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. B-3, s. 178(1)(a.1)(i).

7Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46, s. 11.

8B.(R.) v. S.(E.) (Litigation guardian of), 2017 ONSC 7866.

9Evidence Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. E. 23, s. 22.1(1).

10Ibid, s. 22.1(2).

11See, for example, F.(K.) v. White [2001] O.J. No.847 (CA), and more recently, B.(R.) v. S.(E.), supra, where the court not only granted summary judgment on liability but also on damages.

12Evidence Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. E. 23, s. 22.1(1).

13Toronto (City) v. C.U.P.E., Local 79, 2003 SCC 63. Also see Hanna v. Abbott, 219 O.A.C. 73, and for a helpful articulation of the principles in the previous two decisions, Bank of Montreal v. Woldegabriel, [2007] O.J. No. 1305 (S.C.J.).

14Toronto v. C.U.P.E., supra, at ¶53.

15Hanna v. Abbott, supra, at ¶32.

16Until recently, it was understood that one could not sue the estate of a deceased person more than two years after death. However, a recent Ontario decision has thrown that assumption into question for sexual assault cases, suggesting that because of the distinctive way sexual assault is treated in the Ontario Limitations Act, a lawsuit could actually be brought at any time after death: Fox v. Narine, 2016 ONSC 6499. See my blog, "Court's Interpretation of 'Limitations Act' May Remove Limits for Pursuing Sexual Assaults Cases Long After a Death", December 2016.

17Polgrain Estate v. Toronto East General Hospital, 2008 ONCA 427 at ¶24.

18Sopinka, Lederman and Bryant, The Law of Evidence in Canada, 4 ed (Markham: LexisNexis Canada, 2014), ¶19.188.

19Polgrain v. Toronto East General Hospital, supra.

20Ibid. M. Rosenberg J.A. referred to policy considerations for why reasons for acquittal are not relevant in a subsequent civil proceeding. These include not only that the complainant has no avenue as a non-party to the criminal proceeding to appeal or otherwise review a criminal judge's reasons, but also that even the Crown's right of appeal lies only against the verdict and not the trial judge's reasons.

21Indeed, Ontario's Victims' Bill of Rights, supra, s. 4(4) mandates a judge to take any criminal sentence imposed on a convicted person into consideration before ordering that person to pay punitive damages to his victim.

22E. Grace and S. Vella, Civil Liability for Sexual Abuse and Violence in Canada (Toronto: Butterworths 2000), pp. 213-217.

23Criminal Code, supra, s. 11.

24(1995), 37 C.P.C. (3d) 252 (Ont. Gen. Div.).

25(1995), 22 O.R. (3d) 741 (Gen. Div.).

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Elizabeth K.P. Grace
In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

*** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.