560 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 77 PART 4 JULY 2019
It has been Vancouver and B.C.’s goal, then and now, to be a leader in progressive
arbitration rules to serve the needs of businesspeople. The Centre
has kept its rules consistent with global standards. While based on the
UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules, our rules reflect the language of the British
Columbia legislation: the International Commercial Arbitration Act. This factor
gives considerable comfort to foreign parties coming to B.C. to arbitrate.
The Centre has maintained a steady role in domestic arbitrations, providing
services for arbitrators and arbitrations across B.C. and beyond. We provide
dispute resolution services for ICBC’s Underinsured Motorist Program
files and to the Canadian Internet Resolution Agency on managing .ca
domain name disputes. These matters represent about forty per cent of the
Centre’s total caseload.
Internationally, we filed a robust and well-supported application to the
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (“ICANN”), the
Internet’s domain name governing body, to administer arbitrations regarding
more than 1,300 generic top-level domain names such as .com, .info,
.net, .org, .pro and so on. Administration of such arbitrations would allow
us to reach a new level with regard to domain name disputes, provide additional
interesting files for our panelists, help gain global exposure and international
recognition for Vancouver, and add a new and valuable service to
the Centre’s list of services: a one-stop centre for resolution of the majority
of domain name disputes. Our ICANN application was accepted on May 3
and we are now to be an official dispute resolution centre for domain name
disputes. We will be only the second centre in the western hemisphere, the
other one being in Minneapolis. There are six such centres worldwide.
We have created a new division, the Canadian International Internet Dispute
Resolution Centre (“CIIDRC”) to provide protection for the trademark
owners over domain name disputes. CIIDRC’s international Rules Committee
(chaired by a former minister in Australia’s federal government and one
of the most respected experts in domain name dispute resolution, the Honourable
Neil Brown, Q.C.) worked for several months on drafting CIIDRC’s
Supplemental Rules, which were a paramount part of ICANN’s required criteria
to consider CIIDRC as a new dispute resolution provider. Trademark
owners will be able confidently file their complaints with CIIDRC under
the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy. Our target date for
CIIDRC to begin accepting new cases is October 1, 2019.
More generally, though, what is needed to promote Vancouver? Marketing.
It will take a joint effort from arbitrators, institutions like the Centre
and the VMAA, the Vancouver Board of Trade, Tourism Vancouver, and government
ministries with trade and tourism roles all working to promote the
professional, financial and natural advantages of Vancouver.