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According to the Canadian Constitution, each of the ten provinces of this federal state can independently regulate the dispute resolution through arbitration in Canada. In this country, which is considered one of the world leaders in international arbitration, there are two arbitration statutes: one is responsible for the regulation of international commercial arbitration in Canada, the second covers local arbitration. All Canadian provinces except Quebec are governed by UNCITRAL law.

This article will focus on legislation for the resolution of international arbitration disputes in Ontario and British Columbia.

Scope and Arbitration

International arbitration most often applies to commercial disputes arising from a particular agreement.

The Ontario and British Columbia statutes governing international arbitration allow parties to conclude an arbitration agreement in Canada before or after a dispute arises.

If you decide to initiate arbitration in Canada, please note that the arbitral tribunal is competent to determine whether the arbitration agreement is valid.

Consolidation Terms

For those planning to initiate proceedings through arbitration in Ontario or British Columbia, it is useful to know that the laws of these jurisdictions provide that the court may order consolidation of the arbitration, or the parties may agree to do so without a court order.

Arbitration Procedure 

To begin arbitration in British Columbia or Ontario, you must strictly adhere to the procedure.

When settling commercial claims in Canada, the choice of procedure is left up to the parties. For example, an arbitration agreement may provide that the procedure governing the rules of a particular arbitral institution. If the arbitration agreement does not say anything about the procedure, then the choice of procedure is carried out by the arbitral tribunal.

In British Columbia, evidence, documents, information, and arbitration are confidential. Parties must adhere to public company disclosure obligations. If the privacy rules are violated, then one of the participants in the process has the right to bring legal action for violation of confidentiality in Canada.

Statute of limitations

In Canada, the statute of limitations is relatively short for initiating lawsuits compared to other countries (for example, the total statute of limitations in Ontario and British Columbia is two years from the date of the decision to commence claims proceedings in Canada). If there is a need for consistent resolution of arbitration disputes in Canadian provinces, the statute of limitations may be suspended until these preconditions are met.

An appeal in Canada can be filed within 30 days.

Investment Arbitration in Canada

Canada enjoys very high confidence in the resolution of international investment disputes through arbitration. To date, Canada has ratified 38 bilateral investment agreements, which are known in Canada as the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (FIPA).

Canada has also ratified 14 free trade agreements (FTAs), as well as the ICSID Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Citizens of Other States.

Legal assistance

If you have a commercial dispute in Canada, it is advisable to contact experienced legal experts for advice on resolving business claims in the Canadian provinces.

Our specialists will also provide legal support in resolving international commercial disputes, including:

  • Documentation analysis and prospects of the case assessment;
  • Development of the case management strategy in an arbitration court;
  • Pre-trial dispute settlement, assistance in conducting claims work;
  • Collecting the necessary package of documents for the arbitration court;
  • Drawing up procedural documents such as a lawsuit, petitions, complaints, claims, counterclaims, etc.;
  • Challenging court decisions that were made earlier;
  • Protection of the client’s interests in arbitration courts.

Please contact us directly by filling out the application form on our website.