Myriam’s 2022 Hot Topic: Procedural Fairness in International Arbitration – #704

“Out here, due process is a bullet”, said John Wayne’s Col. Kirby in The Green Berets

Due process. Procedural fairness. Natural justice. Audi alteram partem. These are all different ways of formulating one of the bedrock principles of “civilized” dispute resolution processes, which distinguishes such processes from the guerrilla justice dispensed on the battlefield. Parties must be treated fairly and equally. Parties must be given the opportunity to present their case. The process – taken as a whole – must be fair. 

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Liz’s 2022 Hot Topic: Treatment of arbitration agreements in 2022 – #703

My hot topic for 2022 is the treatment of arbitration agreements by the courts. Frequently, challenges to arbitral jurisdiction and appeals are brought on the basis of the scope and enforceability of an arbitration agreement. A review of a number of cases within the last year indicates a trend that a strongly, and often broadly drafted agreements are frequently the difference between a successful and unsuccessful court challenge. This case note will review a number of notable cases we have seen this past year.

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Timothy’s 2022 Hot Topic – At the crossroads of class actions and arbitration – #702

For this year’s “hot topics” post, I have chosen to spotlight an enduring subject: the policy conflict that can arise between arbitration and consumer class actions. The heat comes from developments in 2022 which suggest a fresh look (or two!) at how to reconcile pro-arbitration international legal commitments and policy objectives with consumer protection and class action laws.

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John’s 2022 Hot Topic: Summary judgment in arbitration – #699

My “hot topic” for 2022 is the Court of Appeal for Ontario’s confirmation that an arbitration can be determined by summary judgment. In Optiva Inc. v. Tbaytel, 2022 ONCA 646, the Court approved proceeding by summary judgment motion where such a motion is consistent with the parties’ arbitration agreement. While the case addressed four grounds of appeal, including whether the arbitrator’s ruling to proceed by summary judgment was a procedural order or a jurisdictional award, the central issue, and my “hot topic,” is whether the arbitrator’s partial award, which decided a summary judgment motion should be set aside. For a summary of the decision, see Case Note – No oral hearing required even if one party requests it #667.

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