Ted's Blog

Arbitrators have wide leeway in applying legal doctrines

In Nor-Man Regional Health Authority Inc. v. Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals, the Supreme Court granted an appeal from the Manitoba Court of Appeal, determining that an arbitral award applying common law or equitable remedies deserves deference, and should be reviewed on a standard of reasonableness rather than correctness.

The Court held that labour arbitrators are not legally bound to apply equitable and common law principles, including estoppel, in the same manner as courts of law, and that they have a broad mandate to craft appropriate remedial doctrines when the need arises.