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Does Canada Need a New Uniform Arbitration Law?

1 minute read

In this video Earl Cherniak discusses the potential for development of a new Uniform Arbitration Law for Canada.

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Video Summary:

The Uniform Law Conference of Canada considers rationalization of a variety of laws, including commercial laws, all across Canada. It has taken on the task of thinking about the 2006 amendments of the UNCITRAL model law and updating and making uniform the model law and the International Commercial Arbitrations Acts across Canada. A working group was established and came up with a detailed discussion paper earlier in 2013, which they have distributed for consideration to a variety of interested groups including arbitration groups and individual arbitrators with personal knowledge in the field. They will report back to the working group who will then make a final report that they will give to the Uniform Law Conference to consider at its meeting in August.

The working paper has 5 draft policy considerations, 2 or 3 of which are controversial and important. One of the most important is whether international commercial arbitration panels should be given the power to make ex parte orders. Second is the question of limitation periods, because limitation periods are not uniform across the country and the question is whether they should be made uniform for those arbitration cases that are international in scope. The third relates to enforcement in Canada. Canada became signatory to the New York Convention in the 1950's which makes foreign arbitration awards much more easily enforceable in Canada than litigation awards from the Courts of foreign jurisdictions. It doesn't apply internally to international arbitration awards under the model law. The question is should it?

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Earl A. Cherniak, LLD, Q.C., FCI.Arb

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