chapter  7
Pages 2

Section 53 of the Criminal Justice Act 19931 provides ‘defences’ to the offence of insider dealing. Prima facie, it contains a number of relatively generalised provisions2 which may be applicable where the individual in question has dealt in securities,3 has encouraged another person to deal in securities4 or has simply disclosed information to a third party otherwise than in the proper performance of the functions of his employment, office or profession.5 The legislative intention, however, was that these provisions would, so to speak, ‘particularise’ the defences available and, in doing so, would thereby reflect ‘... the anxieties that have been put ... by practitioners since the introduction of the Bill, particularly about the need for greater certainty about the effect of the defences ...’.6 Whether s 53, as enacted, is a successful reflection of those anxieties is a matter of opinion. However, putting that to one side for the moment, if any one of these defences is shown to be applicable in any given case, the individual in question will not be guilty of the criminal offence of insider dealing although it may be that other sanctions may be imposed upon him or against the firm employing him with regard to his actions.7