Thomas G. Heintzman, O.C., Q.C., FCIArb

Does Competence-Competence Apply To Domestic Arbitration?

Competence-competence is a central principle of international commercial arbitration: the tribunal has the competence to decide its own jurisdiction. This principle is embedded in Article 16 of the UNCITRAL Model Law. For this reason, a court will await the arbitral tribunal’s decision on its own jurisdiction before undertaking a review of that issue, unless the […]

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When Is An International Arbitration Award Enforceable Against A Non-Signatory To The Arbitration Agreement?

An important issue relating to enforcement of an arbitral award is whether the award can be enforced against a party who did not sign the arbitration agreement. If the arbitral tribunal sitting outside Canada finds that party to be a party to the arbitration agreement, even if that person did not sign the agreement, what […]

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Is An Agreement To Mediate Enforceable?

A recurring issue in arbitration and construction law is whether an agreement to mediate is enforceable. That is because an arbitration or building contract may contain a clause imposing an obligation to mediate before arbitrating. If the agreement to mediate is enforceable, that likely has certain consequences.  The limitation period is likely not running and […]

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Does The UNCITRAL Model Law Apply To A Claim Under The Consumer Protection ACT?

The Queen’s Bench Court for Saskatchewan recently applied the Saskatchewan International Commercial Arbitration Act (SICAA) and the UNCITRAL Model law annexed to that Act and stayed an action based on the Saskatchewan Consumer Protection Act and a contract which was apparently between two Canadian entities. The decision in Zwack v. Pocha is important for two […]

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What Are The Limits Of Competence-Competence For Arbitral Tribunals?

Competence-competence is now a foundational principle of the modern law of arbitration.  According to that principle, an arbitral tribunal is competent to decide its own competence.  In other words, the tribunal has jurisdiction to decide its own jurisdiction.  That principle demands, in turn, that the arbitral tribunal, and not the court, should in the first […]

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Can An Arbitration Claim Be Dismissed For Delay?

Does an arbitral tribunal have authority to dismiss an arbitration claim for want of prosecution?  Some arbitration statutes expressly state that a tribunal has the power to do so.  Absent such an express power, the British Columbia Court of Appeal has held that the tribunal has no inherent authority to do so:  Premium Brands Operating […]

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When Is An Arbitration An International Commercial Arbitration?

Is an arbitration between two domestic companies arising from a contract for a shipment between two foreign countries an “international commercial arbitration” for the purposes of the UNCITRAL Model Rules, particularly if the arbitral agreement requires arbitration in a foreign location?  And if it is, does the domestic court have any residual discretion to stay […]

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Does The Competence-Competence Principle Apply To Third Parties To An Arbitration Agreement?

The competence of an arbitral tribunal to determine its own competence has become firmly rooted in Canadian law.  But what happens when the tribunal has to decide issues which directly affect third parties? In Ontario v. Imperial Tobacco Canada Limited, the Court of Appeal for Ontario recently held that, in that circumstance, the principle does […]

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Domain Name Disputes: Should They Be Resolved In A Court Or An Arbitral Tribunal?

  Should A Court Or An Arbitral Tribunal Resolve Domain Name Disputes? The Court of Appeal for Ontario has just released its decision in Tucows.Com Co. v. Lojas Renner S.A.  This decision is a legal landmark in relation to Internet domain names. The Court held that domain names are personal property and may be the […]

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What Happens When A Party Refuses To Arbitrate?

Arbitration – Competence –Competence – Agreement – Enforcement A lawyer must keep track of the general law of contract and arbitration. In turn, many construction cases have settled fundamental principles of the general law. The recent decision of the UK Supreme Court in Dallah Real Estate and Tourism Holding Company v. The Ministry of Religious […]

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