Med-Arb is not merely the merging of separate mediation and arbitration processes, but a unique process designed to meet the needs of particular disputants. It involves nuances and complexities that can be fine-tuned to the needs of the parties as a customized dispute resolution process, which requires a high level of practitioner competence to do successfully.
As part of ADRIC’s roles of protecting the public and promoting best practices in ADR, the need became apparent for specialized rules of procedure, so a Task Force was formed with a dedicated working group of med-arb professionals. The Task Force completed an initial draft of the Rules, which were then referred to the Rules Committee for its consideration.
Despite their brevity, the ADRIC Med-Arb Rules proved surprisingly complex and raised a number of issues for resolution. The Rules are designed to work in tandem with ADRIC’s existing Mediation Rules and Arbitration Rules, and the Committee wished to ensure that all three sets of rules integrated seamlessly. Over the course of 11 months the Committee met regularly to review every aspect of the ADRIC Med-Arb Rules.
The Committee followed past practice by consulting with the membership at large regarding the Rules as they were being reviewed, and the Committee received extensive and very helpful feedback. A discussion draft of the ADRIC Med-Arb Rules was presented to the membership at ADRIC’s Annual Conference in September 2019, a result of which still further feedback was received. The Committee listened carefully to every bit of feedback received in the course of its deliberations. The Committee also followed past practice by sending the draft ADRIC Med-Arb Rules for “wordsmithing” by a plain language specialist and many of the recommended plain language revisions were adopted.
The ADRIC Board approved the finalized ADRIC Med-Arb Rules on May 23, 2020.
Rules: Coming Soon! The new Med-Arb Rules are currently being translated and designed into booklet format. We will announce to our mailing list when they are available. Ensure you are on the mailing list by subscribing and indicating the types of mailings you wish to receive: https://adric.ca/communication-preferences/
Templates: The Med-Arb Task Force developed some templates as part of their work; however the Rules Committee determined that the content of any such agreements would need to be the subject of legal advice, so ADRIC is not able to provide templates.
Designation: The need to be able to identify practitioners with competence, experience and skills specifically in Med-Arb was also apparent, so ADRIC has developed the Chartered Med-Arbitrator (C.Med-Arb) designation which is unique in the ADR world and provides clearly defined criteria for those practitioners who wish to obtain it. This in turn provides users of ADR services with confidence that they can rely on the specific and specialized knowledge and experience of individuals with the designation.
By designing and implementing this designation in consultation with experienced ADR practitioners and by imposing strict requirements for members who wish to apply for the designation, ADRIC is confirming its commitment to the public and to its members as the premier ADR organization and thought leader in Canada.
MODEL DISPUTE RESOLUTION CLAUSE
Parties who agree to submit disputes under the Med-Arb Rules may use this clause in their agreement:
All disputes arising out of or in connection with this agreement, or in respect of any legal relationship associated with or derived from this agreement, will be finally resolved by Med-Arb under the Med-Arb Rules of the ADR Institute of Canada, Inc. The Seat of Arbitration under the ADRIC Arbitration Rules will be [specify]. The language of the Med-Arb will be [specify].
- TYPES OF DISPUTES TO WHICH THE MED-ARB RULES APPLY
Although the Med-Arb Rules were drafted to assist in resolving domestic commercial disputes, parties may want to apply them to international or non-commercial disputes.
Parties should examine the Med-Arb Rules to ensure that their provisions are appropriate and conform with applicable legislation.
 In Québec, Article 2639 of the Civil Code of Québec, L.R.Q., c. C-1991, provides that disputes over the status and capacity of persons, family matters, or other matters of public order may not be submitted to arbitration.