THE ADVOCATE 739
VOL. 78 PART 5 SEPTEMBER 2020
A VIEW FROM
By Joe McArthur, FCIArb, C.Arb, and Laura Cundari, FCIArb*
NEW NAME, NEW ACT, NEW RULES: DRAMATIC CHANGES IN DOMESTIC
ARBITRATION IN B.C.
New Name, Same Experienced Centre
As of September 1, 2020, the British Columbia International Commercial
Arbitration Centre (the “BCICAC”) is now the Vancouver International Arbitration
Centre (the “Centre”). A fresh logo and modernized website have
also been launched in conjunction with the Centre’s new name.
A new domestic Arbitration Act (the “new Act”) was passed this spring and
came into force on September 1, 2020. A summary of the features of the
new Act can be found in Ken Glasner, Q.C.’s recent article “New Arbitration
Act Introduced in British Columbia” (2020) 78 Advocate 361.
The new Act is a marked departure from the existing Arbitration Act. The
existing Arbitration Act provided a skeletal framework for domestic arbitrations.
Much of the arbitral procedure under the existing Act was left for the
BCICAC Rules, which were incorporated by virtue of s. 22 and applied by
default to all domestic arbitrations in British Columbia. The new Act goes
far beyond the skeletal framework of the existing Act, and many of the procedural
issues that were previously addressed only in the BCICAC Rules
now form part of the Act itself.
While the BCICAC Rules no longer apply by default to all domestic arbitrations,
the Centre’s rules will continue to apply where parties have identified
the Centre as the administrator of the arbitration in their arbitration
agreement, or where the parties otherwise agree. In addition, the Centre
has been assigned important functions under the new Act as the “desig-
* The authors are members of the Centre’s board of directors and are partners at the Vancouver office of Blakes, with considerable
experience in commercial arbitration and litigation.