The Alberta Law Reform Institute (ALRI) recently published its Final Report 103 - Arbitration Act: Stay and Appeal Issues:
"A modern Arbitration Act became law in Alberta in 1991. In the two
decades since, certain issues have arisen in Alberta case law which
affect the ideal functioning of the arbitration system ... The Final Report contains ALRI’s
recommendations for reform, which are outlined in this Summary."
"ALRI reaffirms the two fundamental principles underlying the Alberta
Act: the principle of party control and the principle of restricted court
intervention. ALRI relied on these principles when formulating final
recommendations in order to maintain conceptual consistency within
the Alberta Act."
"The first issue concerns partial stays of competing court proceedings
under section 7(5). Partial stays work well when arbitrable and
litigable issues are reasonably separable, which is a prerequisite to
the operation of section 7(5). But what should a court do when they
cannot be reasonably separated or the competing litigation involves
additional parties who are not subject to the arbitration agreement or
"Alberta courts have produced some strikingly divergent lines of case
law on issues which essentially concern how accessible arbitral
appeals should be. The policy basis of appeals under section 44 of
the Alberta Act seems to be unclear, ambiguous or even
contradictory. The legislation provides appeal routes and yet
undermines them at the same time. ALRI has therefore rethought the
role of arbitral appeals in a more fundamental way and proposes a
new balance between the competing policy considerations.
ALRI recommends that arbitration parties should continue to be able,
by agreement, to appeal an arbitral award to the Court of Queen’s
Bench on whatever basis the parties decide. This promotes the
principle of party control over the arbitral process. Consultation
feedback also favoured retaining such consensual appeals.
However, ALRI proposes that this should be the only appeal route.
ALRI recommends repealing non-consensual appeals on a question of
law by leave of the court. Nova Scotia and Quebec similarly do not
provide such an appeal route. Strengthening the principle of
restricted court intervention in the Alberta Act also enhances the
principle of party control. Although consultation feedback was more
mixed on this issue, a slight edge of respondents advocated repealing
these appeals as well..."
Labels: commercial and corporate law, courts, dispute resolution, government_Alberta, law commissions, litigation