Vasilis Pappas has been appointed by the Alberta Law Reform Institute to sit on its Project Advisory Committee with respect to the modernization of Alberta legislation governing international commercial arbitration.
In Alberta, the International Commercial Arbitration Act establishes the legislative framework for the conduct of international arbitration in the province. Enacted in 1986, it adopts the United Nations Commission on Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration and implements the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.
Since 1986, changes at the international level as well as issues within Canada have created a need for reform. In particular:
- In 2006, UNCITRAL introduced amendments to the Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration that Alberta has yet to adopt, making Alberta less competitive in the international commercial arbitration sphere.
- There were some anomalies in the provincial statutes used to implement the 1986 UNCITRAL Model Law and New York convention. These differences were never corrected and undermined uniformity of international commercial arbitration practice across Canada.
- Differences in case law and arbitration practice across provinces led to practical difficulties that needed to be addressed.
Modernization and reform of the International Commercial Arbitration Act has the potential to make the system easier to navigate by foreign users, thereby attracting more international arbitration business to Alberta and Canada.
The Alberta Law Reform Institute is tasked by the Department of Justice in Alberta with providing independent comprehensive advice to the Government of Alberta with respect to the law and administration of justice.