Arbitration is an out-of-court form of dispute resolution where one or more impartial persons (the arbitrator(s)) make a legally binding ruling called an “award”. An award can then be enforced by the court, if necessary. Arbitration is widely used in a variety of disputes as a private alternative to litigation through the public courts, and where the parties were unable to resolve the dispute through negotiation or mediation.
In Canada, arbitration is regulated by statute. Provinces and territories have their own separate arbitration legislation. In Ontario, domestic (non-international) arbitration is governed by the Arbitration Act, 1991, while international commercial arbitration is governed by the International Commercial Arbitration Act, 2017.
While in some instances other legislation may require the arbitration of disputes, in the disputes we arbitrate, the parties have either agreed to submit their dispute to arbitration after the dispute arises, or they previously agreed to arbitration in a contract prior to the dispute arising.
Benefits of Arbitration
- Savings—Cost and Time Many disputes can be resolved through arbitration within months after the process begins, whereas civil lawsuits in our overburdened courts can take years to reach trial. Parties also have more control over time and cost when they choose arbitration because they are not bound by court rules, schedules or processes.
- Choice Unlike court, where the parties cannot choose the judge assigned to them, the parties can agree on and hire an arbitrator who is knowledgeable about their industry or type of dispute.
- Informal The atmosphere of an arbitration is business-like yet less formal than a court proceeding. For example, more relaxed rules of evidence help allow parties to feel confident in presenting their case to the arbitrator, by videoconference or at a mutually agreeable site, and even in writing, at a time of their choosing.
- Finality Unlike with court, the parties can agree beforehand not to appeal the arbitrator’s award, or to limit appeals.
- Privacy With limited exceptions, if the parties don’t appeal the arbitrator’s award, the award, like the arbitration process itself, remains private and confidential—unlike court, which is open to public scrutiny.
Arbitration + Mediation
Arbitration can also be paired with mediation, in which a mediator who is not the arbitrator first helps the parties try to resolve their dispute or parts of it, or the parties can also agree to an integrated, hybrid process called mediation-arbitration where the mediator and arbitrator are the same person.
Arbitrating With Us
If you or your client have decided on an arbitration, Mitchell Rose, our arbitrator, recommends a preliminary call with the lawyers for all parties of the dispute (or the parties themselves if they are unrepresented). To learn more about our arbitration practice, or to schedule a complimentary, ‘getting started’ arbitrator call, please contact our office and include topline information and counsel coordinates.
For the types of disputes Rose Dispute Resolution arbitrates, click here.