Established by the government of the Province of British Columbia in 1986, with additional funding from the Federal Government of Canada, formerly known as BCICAC, the Vancouver International Arbitration Centre (“VanIAC”, “The Centre”) is a non-profit organization committed to offering out of court dispute resolution services to the business community through arbitration and mediation. It was part of the initiative of the public and private sectors to position Vancouver to become a leading centre for facilitating the resolution of national and international commercial disputes.
British Columbia was among the first governments to accept the arbitration model proposed by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL Model Law). Working with the United Nations, the B.C. Legislature developed its International Commercial Arbitration Act. Enacted in 1986, the legislation embodies two strongly held principles: minimum of judicial intervention and a significant degree of autonomy for parties engaged in arbitration.
The modernization of arbitral law in B.C. is also rooted in the 1958 adoption of the United Nations Arbitration Convention (the ”New York Convention“), formally entitled “the UN Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Arbitral Awards”. This convention provided mechanisms by which arbitral awards can be enforced easily between signatory countries. Canada went a step further and announced that all arbitral awards would be recognized and enforced in Canada according to the terms of the New York Convention regardless of whether the countries involved were signatories.
The Vancouver International Arbitration Centre is a non-profit foundation incorporated under the Society Act of B.C. (RSBC 1996), Chapter 433. The Centre is managed by a Board of Directors consisting of lawyers, business leaders, academics, and professionals.