The Alberta Law Reform Institute Final Report 103 “Arbitration Act” Stay and Appeal Issues” first recommendation is that reform of the Alberta Arbitration Act should respect the fundamental principle of party control as much as possible.
The Report notes that the principle is a two-edged sword: “Arbitrating parties should not insist on party control when it benefits them, yet expect the statute or courts to step in and fix problems stemming from poorly prepared arbitration agreements over which the parties themselves exercise control.” (My emphasis.)
Recommendation 2 is that reform should respect the fundamental principle of restricted court intervention as much as possible.
Recommendation 3 is to delete section 7(5) to clarify that “multiplicity of proceedings cannot defeat the fundamental statutory principles of party control and restricted court intervention in arbitration.”
Recommendation 4 is to repeal section 7(2)(e) which provides an exception to the mandatory stay of court proceedings where the matter in dispute is a proper one for default or summary judgment. The Report suggests:
Recommendation 5 is to keep section 44(1) which permits appeals by party agreement.
Recommendation 6 is to delete section 44(2) which provides that parties may appeal, under certain circumstances, with leave of the court. The result of implementing recommendations 5 and 6 will be that appeals will be available only by agreement of the parties.
Recommendation 7 is to repeal section 44(3) which says parties may not appeal on a question of law that was expressly referred to the arbitral tribunal.
Recommendations 8 & 9 deal with transition and recommend that the revisions apply to any arbitration commenced on or after the effective date which should be following a stated period of time sufficient to allow parties to make necessary changes to their arbitration agreement.