Chapter 8 – Publicity
Introduction8.1 This Chapter sets out the Registration Authority’s policy on publicity in relation to statutory decision making and the exercise of its investigation and enforcement powers. Specifically, the policy covers the following:a. general policy on publicity of enforcement actions;b. ongoing investigations or enforcement matters;c. publication of warning notices;d. publication of decision notices and supervisory notices;e. proceedings in the ADGM Courts;f. publication of settlements; andg. actions taken by the Registration Authority on its own-initiative.
General policy on publicity of enforcement and disciplinary actions8.2 Publicity about enforcement action improves the understanding of registration and licensing standards among licensed persons and potential users of the ADGM, it deters other persons from engaging in similar misconduct, and demonstrates how the Registration Authority uses its disciplinary and enforcement powers to meet its statutory objectives.8.3 The Registration Authority’s general policy is to publicise enforcement and disciplinary actions, providing information, statements and/or notices in the form and manner it regards as appropriate and most effective.8.4 However, the Registration Authority retains discretion regarding the approach to publication and in particular, the timing of publications of enforcement or disciplinary action, depending on the circumstances of a particular matter and in order to best advance ADGM’s interests.
Publicity about ongoing matters8.5 The Registration Authority’s general policy is not to publicise the fact that it is or is not investigating, or considering enforcement action about a matter.8.6 However, in certain circumstances the Registration Authority will make exceptions to this policy and make a public announcement about an ongoing investigation or enforcement action. For example, the Registrar may make a public announcement about an ongoing investigation which he believes may lead to a party providing a disqualification undertaking. The Registration Authority will consider a public announcement if it will:a. assist in maintaining the integrity of and confidence in ADGM or the Registration Authority;b. protect the public, for example by announcing unlicensed conduct by a person who is under investigation by the Registration Authority;c. prevent and restrain conduct which may cause damage to the reputation of the ADGM, for example to alert licensed persons that certain conduct is under investigation to stop and deter others from engaging in similar conduct; ord. assist the investigation itself, for example by encouraging witnesses to come forward.8.7 The Registration Authority may also make a public announcement about a matter under investigation if it has become the subject of public speculation or rumour, if it is considered that doing so will contain or prevent further speculation.
Publication of warning notices8.8 The Registrar will not publish a warning notice or any details concerning a warning notice.
Publication of decision notices, final notices and supervisory notices8.9 Generally, the Registrar’s policy is:a. not to publish decision notices;b. publish final notices if the matter has not been referred to the ADGM Courts within one month; andc. publish such information about a supervisory notice as the Registrar considers appropriate.8.10 The Registrar may publish a decision notice if doing so will protect the public. If the Registrar publishes a decision notice, the Registrar will indicate that the person who is the subject of the decision notice has a right to appeal to the ADGM Courts.8.11 Under section 51(2) of CLR 2015, a person to whom a decision notice is given or copied may not publish the notice or any details concerning it unless the Registrar has published the notice or those details.8.12 Such a disclosure is a contravention under section 51(12) of CLR 2015 and the Registration Authority will, where appropriate, take action accordingly.8.13 The Registrar may not publish a decision notice, final notice or supervisory notice if publication would be:a. unfair to the person subject to the decision notice;b. detrimental to the interests of participants of the ADGM registered entities and their stakeholders; orc. detrimental to the interests of the ADGM.8.14 Under section 51(2) of CLR 2015, a person to whom a decision notice is given or copied may not publish the notice or any details concerning it unless the Registrar has published the notice or those details.8.15 Such a disclosure is a contravention under section 51(12) of CLR 2015 and the Registration Authority will, where appropriate, take action accordingly.
Publication about proceedings8.17 Section 98 of the ADGM Courts, Civil Evidence, Judgements, Enforcement and Judicial Appointments Regulations 2015, provide that matters will be heard in public unless otherwise directed by the ADGM Courts. As publicity about proceedings is subject to such directions, the Registration Authority generally does not make any public statement about the commencement of proceedings until the ADGM Courts has given directions about publicity.8.18 The Registration Authority’s general policy is to make public statements about the outcome of enforcement proceedings in the ADGM Courts, unless the ADGM Courts directs otherwise. However, the Registration Authority retains discretion to not publicise the outcome of proceedings, or to not do so immediately, where it considers appropriate, such as where publication would not be in the public interest or be prejudicial to the interests of clients and customers.
Publication of Discontinuation Notices8.16 Pursuant to section 51(3) of CLR 2015, if the person to whom a discontinuation notice is given consents, the Registration Authority may publish such information as it considers appropriate about the matter to which the discontinued proceedings related.
Publication of settlements8.19 The Registration Authority’s approach to publicity in respect of settlements is set out in Chapter 5 of this Manual.
Publication of own-initiative action8.20 The Registration Authority may take action on its own-initiative against licensed persons under sections 13 and 14 of CLR 2015. Further details about the Registration Authority’s policy and procedure on own-initiative action is set out in Chapter 6 of this Manual.8.21 Where the Registration Authority exercises its power to take action on its own-initiative it must give a statutory notice under sections 19 and 20. Therefore the Registration Authority’s approach to publicising own-initiative action follows the policy set out in paragraphs 8.9 to 8.15 (see ‘Publication of decision notices, final notices and supervisory notices’ section, above).8.22 Where the Registration Authority exercises its power to take action on its own-initiative, the licensed person to which that action relates has the right to refer the matter to the ADGM Courts. Where a referral is made to the Court, the Registration Authority follows its policy in relation to publication of matters subject to proceedings, as set out in paragraphs 8.17 and 8.18 (see ‘Publication about proceedings’ section, above).