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Who Judges the Judges?: Ensuring arbitrator impartiality, dealing with bias, and seeking judicial review

Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm EDT

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Keith Burkhardt

Employer Counsel
Sherrard Kuzz
Anne Gregory

Legal Counsel
Manitoba Nurses Union


John McConchie


John McLuckie

Union Counsel
Jewitt McLuckie
Marcia McNeil

Employer Counsel
Pulver Crawford Munroe


Impartiality is the foundation of the arbitration process. But while arbitrators are expected to maintain objectivity in assessing evidence and rendering decisions, they nevertheless have the potential to be affected by conscious or unconscious bias. In this session, experienced arbitrators and counsel will discuss arbitrator impartiality, provide guidance on the steps that parties may take if they encounter arbitrator bias, and outline how parties may seek judicial review of an arbitrator's decision.

  • Ensuring arbitrator impartiality: What level of impartiality is expected of arbitrators? To what extent do arbitrators owe a duty of fairness to the parties appearing before them? What steps should arbitrators take to ensure impartiality and avoid even the appearance of bias? What types of inquiries can parties and their counsel make to verify the impartiality of an arbitrator? Are there different expectations of employer or union nominees to a board of arbitration?
  • Dealing with bias: What is the test for determining arbitrator bias? What are examples of arbitrator conduct that courts have deemed to constitute bias? How and when should a party raise any concerns about the impartiality of an arbitrator? What should a party do if concerns about an arbitrator's impartiality develop after the hearing has started? When will a court order the removal of an arbitrator? What unique considerations may arise in the context of mediation-arbitration, in which the same individual acts as both mediator and arbitrator?
  • Seeking judicial review: On what grounds may an arbitrator's decision be challenged? What is the procedure for seeking judicial review of an arbitrator's decision on the basis of a reasonable apprehension of bias? What is the standard of review that a court will apply on reviewing an arbitrator's decision? When will a court order that a matter be remitted to a new panel rather than to the original panel for reconsideration?


CPHR Alberta

CPD hours for this event can be logged online, through your CPHR Alberta member profile.

HRPA Continuing Professional Development

This program has been approved for 1.5 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours under Section A3 of the Recertification Log of the Human Resources Professionals Association.

HRMA Continuing Professional Development

This audio conference has been approved by the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources of British Columbia and Yukon (CPHR BC & YK) for 1.5 Continuing Professional Development hours. Be sure to note the Event Identification Number in your CPHR Recertification Log.

Lancaster House CPD
  • This audio conference has been approved by the Law Society of British Columbia for 1.5 Continuing Professional Development hours.
  • Members of the Law Society of Saskatchewan should contact their Law Society regarding CPD approval.
  • CPD for Members of the Law Society of Ontario: 1.5 Substantive Hours; 0 Professionalism Hours.
  • This audio conference has been approved by the Law Society of New Brunswick for 1.5 Continuing Professional Development hours.
  • Members of the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society may count this program for 1.5 Continuing Professional Development hours.

Additional Information

Valuable, up-to-date materials and case summaries will be available for downloading from our website. Each audio conference is accompanied by a PDF of concise summaries of the cases discussed.

Live Session – $260, plus HST
Live Session for 2 or more (Boardroom fee) – $520, plus HST
Bundle Rate – Purchase a Live Session and receive the companion MP3 Recording for $160, plus HST
MP3 Recording – $260, plus HST
(Registrations must be paid in advance of the audio conference)
Contact us for discount pricing on the entire series.

Audio conference MP3 files are available for $260. Those who have purchased the live audio conference may purchase the corresponding downloadable audio MP3 file for the discounted price of $160.

The recorded MP3 file and materials are available for download one business day after the live audio conference. After purchasing, you will receive an e-mail with instructions on how to access and download the audio conference MP3 file and materials by visiting My Account and selecting Order History. For audio file purchases for upcoming audio conferences, once the MP3 file is available through our site, registrants will receive an update e-mail informing them that the links are now ready.

When you register, you'll be given a toll-free number to dial at the time of the session and an access code to join the call. For additional program and registration information, call Lancaster House at (416) 977-6618.

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