Labour Rights Arbitration in Canada:
An Empirical Investigation of Efficiency and Delay
in a Changed Legal Environment
Kevin Banks (Queen’s)
Richard Chaykowski (Queen’s)
George Slotsve (Northern Illinois University)
This paper investigates and identifies causes of delay in Canadian labour arbitration using statistical analysis of empirical data. It then offers policy recommendations. The paper will appear soon in the Canadian Labour and Employment Law Journal. Here is the abstract:
Despite being entrusted with an important public policy mandate to provide expeditious resolution of rights disputes arising under collective agreements and statutes, Canadian labour arbitration is increasingly prone to extensive delay. The authors examine causes and propose solutions. They theorize delay as a consequence of exogenously and endogenously produced failure in markets for fair and expeditious private dispute resolution; compile a database containing party, institutional and subject-matter characteristics of every publicly reported rights arbitration decision in Ontario in 2010; and employ formal hazard models to identify causes of delay. They find little support for current theories that expansion of the jurisdiction of arbitrators, undue legalization of arbitration proceedings, shortages of qualified arbitrators, preferences of parties for particular arbitrators or for more formal or slower procedures or for mediation-arbitration, are significant causes of delay. They infer that primary causes probably lie in resource and incentive problems with clearing caseload backlogs, aggravated at times by unnecessarily slow fact-finding processes.