Civil Contempt - Directions. Njoroge v. Canada (Attorney General)
In Njoroge v. Canada (Attorney General) (Fed CA, 2023) the Federal Court of Appeal considers the status of a court 'direction' - as opposed to a court order, here in the context of a contempt motion:
 While these reasons alone are sufficient to dispose of the contempt motion, I wish to briefly address the argument advanced by the AGC that contempt proceedings cannot arise from failure to comply with a direction. Although it is not necessary to decide the point, suffice to say that the failure to comply with a direction appears to constitute conduct amounting to contempt under three categories listed in Rule 466: Rule 466(b) ("“disobeys a process… of the Court”"); Rule 466(c) ("“interfere[s] with the orderly administration of justice”"); or Rule 466(d) ("“is an officer of the Court and fails to perform his or her duty”"). Indeed, this Court has emphasized that a finding of contempt may result from a broad range of actions with the effect of obstructing justice, and does not arise only upon breach of an order of a tribunal or court (Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada v. Bremsak, 2013 FCA 214 at para. 44).
 Directions are not mere suggestions as to what might happen in the conduct of a case, but are the expectation of the Court as to what will happen. Directions carry the weight of judicial authority and entail sanctions for non-compliance (Fibrogen, Inc. v. Akebia Therapeutics, Inc., 2022 FCA 135 at para. 57). There are, however, many remedies short of contempt that are available where a party fails to comply with a direction. Those arise from the Court’s plenary jurisdiction to manage its own process and proceedings. Because of this, contempt in the context of failure to follow a direction is, necessarily, a rare occurrence.