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Jan Advocate 2017

THE ADVOCATE V O L . 7 5 P A R T 1 J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 7 37 REFORMING ARBITRATION APPEALS: THE NEW ULCC UNIFORM ARBITRATION ACT By William G. Horton* On August 15, 2016, the Uniform Law Conference of Canada1 (“ULCC”) adopted a new Uniform Arbitration Act (“UAA”), which will serve as a reference point across Canada for future legislative change relating to non-international arbitration (sometimes known as “domestic” arbitration). Key, and potentially controversial, recommendations regarding arbitration appeals are the subject of this article. The new UAA was produced after much analysis and consultation by the Domestic Arbitration Law Project (“DALP”) of the ULCC. The report of the DALP and the new UAA represents extensive work carried out by a working group of arbitration specialists from across Canada chaired by Gerry Ghikas, Q.C., of Vancouver.2 Because legislation and legal cultures with reference to non-international arbitration differ markedly among the provinces of Canada, and also differ between federal arbitration legislation and that of the provinces, the ultimate solutions proposed in the new UAA will be viewed differently in different parts of the country. There is no issue on which this observation is more evident than the issue of appeals from arbitration awards to the courts. NEWUAA PROVISIONS REGARDING ARBITRATION APPEALS This article focuses on the following key recommendations embedded in the new UAA with respect to appeals from arbitration awards: 1) no appeals to the court would be allowed with respect to questions of fact or questions of mixed fact and law; 2) appeals to the court on questions of law would be allowed only if the agreement to arbitrate specifically so provides; * The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the ULCC, the working group of the ULCC Domestic Arbitration Law Project or any individual associated with that project other than the author.


Jan Advocate 2017
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