Application and Scope of the Legislation - Chapter 2 - Arbitration Law of Canada: Practice and Procedure - Third Edition
Originally from Arbitration Law of Canada: Practice and Procedure, 3rd Edition
APPLICATION AND SCOPE OF THE LEGISLATION
The former arbitration legislation in common law Canada was based on the English Arbitration Act, 1889 and made no distinction between domestic or international arbitrations. The transformation to the modern legislative regime in Canada started at the United Nations in the late 1950s.
The Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, also known as the New York Convention, was adopted by a United Nations diplomatic conference on June 10, 1958 and entered into force on June 7, 1959. The Convention is arguably the most successful international treaty ever promulgated by the United Nations and is considered the foundational instrument for international arbitration. As its title suggests, the purpose of the Convention is to facilitate the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards rendered in jurisdictions outside of the jurisdiction where the arbitration took place. All countries that adopt the New York Convention agree to recognize and enforce international arbitration awards. In 1985, Canada’s federal government passed the United Nations Foreign Arbitral Awards Convention Act to approve and declare the New York Convention to have the force of law in Canada.
The New York Convention was followed by the Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (known as the Model Law) adopted by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) on June 21, 1985. The development of the Model Law came from the desire and need for certainty in international business and to have a forum for the settlement of disputes distinct from the domestic court system of either party. The Model Law limits court involvement to an absolute minimum. Under the Model Law, there are very restricted grounds permitting intervention by the domestic court of the state in which the arbitration is taking place. Further, there are no rights of appeal to the court from an arbitral award. The Model Law is not binding in and of itself, but is a template for a State wishing to pass modern arbitration legislation.