Ontario passes new law – Global Arbitration Review

Lauren Tomasich

March 24, 2017

A new international commercial arbitration act for Ontario came into force on March 22, 2017, which replaces the International Commercial Arbitration Act, RSO 1990, c I.9 with immediate effect. According to a recent article by Tom Jones in Global Arbitration Review, the new act, International Commercial Arbitration Act, 2017, SO 2017, c 2, was passed to bring the province’s arbitration regime in line with international standards and provide greater clarity on certain matters.

“The act provides certainty and clarity to important aspects of international commercial arbitration and ensures Ontario will remain at the forefront of international commercial arbitration, both within Canada and globally," says Lauren Tomasich, a partner in Osler’s Litigation Practice Group. "It also ensures that dispute resolution in Ontario keeps pace with how the parties who use it actually do business."

The article outlines differences between the old and new act, which include the new act setting out a more detailed regime in respect of tribunals' jurisdiction to award interim measures and the relaxation of the required form of international arbitration agreements.

The new act also expressly adopts the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, which is appended as a schedule to the act. Lauren tells the Global Arbitration Review that the new act will allow firms to tell clients that “an Ontario award is unequivocally a New York Convention award” for the first time.

Read more about the new international commercial arbitration act in the article “Ontario passes new law” in the Global Arbitration Review.