364 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 78 PART 3 MAY 2020
Adding to this favourable context for arbitration is the presence of the
British Columbia International Commercial Arbitration Centre (“BCICAC”),
a designated appointing authority whose services are invaluable to the arbitral
community. BCICAC, which is soon to be known as the Vancouver
International Arbitration Centre, was founded in 1986 and provides a number
of services including, most importantly, a list of vetted arbitrators, coupled
with a process for appointment.
John Bolton (not the one south of the 49th parallel) wrote a paper published
in 19965 in which he quoted Lord Woolf, who had delivered a paper
entitled “Why Can’t an Arbitrator Be Just Like a Judge?” Lord Woolf turned
the tables and asked, in essence, “Why can’t a judge be just like an arbitrator?”
He was, of course, referring to the flexibility that arbitrators have in
dealing with issues in dispute.
The focus for a successful arbitral culture requires the stakeholders (the
parties, their counsel, the arbitrator and arbitral institutions) to understand
and implement the benefits of the new Act. As stated by Sir Anthony Clarke
when referring to the Woolf report: “Changing the rules is one thing; changing
how the rules are interpreted and applied is another thing entirely.”6
1. 2014 SCC 53.
2. SBC 2020, c 2.
3. Shantona Chaudhury, “Effective Commercial Arbitration:
A Conversation with Robert Armstrong, Ian
Binnie, and Stephen Goudge” in Marvin V Huberman,
ed, A Practitioner’s Guide to Commercial Arbitration
(Irwin Law, 2017).
4. RSBC 1996, c 233.
5. John Bolton, “Why Can’t an Arbitrator Be Just Like a
Judge?” (February 1996) Arbitration 34.
6. Sir Anthony Clarke, “The Woolf Reforms: A Singular
Event or an Ongoing Process?” (address to the British
Academy delivered on 2 December 2018).