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Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench updates procedures on mediation, arbitration awards

Wednesday, April 01, 2020 @ 10:50 AM | By Ian Burns

In the context of the current suspension of hearings except those that are an emergency or urgent, Alberta’s Court of Queen’s Bench announced that it is encouraging counsel and the public to access alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, including mediation and arbitration. These processes will reduce delays in resolving family, civil and commercial disputes in light of the backlog that will seriously challenge timely scheduling of these matters in the court once the suspension is lifted.

According to the court’s press release, effective as of March 30, the court will process all consent orders resolving any matter over which the court has jurisdiction, including non-urgent matters and consent orders to enforce mediation or arbitration awards, by e-mail or fax.

In light of the current suspension of all but emergency and urgent hearings and until further notice, the court says the following requirements apply to contested applications to the court to enforce arbitration awards pursuant to s. 49 of the Arbitration Act:
  • The application shall be made in writing, shall include a detailed statement of the reasons that enforcement is claimed to be urgent, and shall be submitted electronically (more information here).
  • The application shall be made on notice to the person against whom enforcement is sought, in accordance with the Alberta Rules of Court, and shall be supported by the original Arbitration Award or certified copy.
  • The application must include a proposed form(s) of order.

The court states that it will deal only with applications which it considers to be urgent, and may only deal with interim enforcement, without a hearing, until COVID-19 restrictions are ended or reduced.