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Public Meeting, Saturday, June 26 7:30-10:00PM


Should Faith-Based Arbitrations be Permitted in Ontario ?

 Resolution 04-11-01

 To Remove Family Law
 from the Arbitration Act of

WHEREAS, the Arbitration Act of 1991 was created to reduce the time and cost for business to settle international disputes regarding business and property through a private court or Tribunal;

 WHEREAS, prior to the passage of the Arbitration Act, a religious group approached the government and requested permission to use the Arbitration Act to resolve family legal matters based on their religious customs and law;

 WHEREAS, the government accommodated the request made by this religious group, and then extended the same right to other religious communities, thereby permitting the privatization of family law;

 WHEREAS, the terms family and religion are not defined or referred to in the Arbitration Act, this omission makes the Arbitration Act vague in matters of  family and religious law;

 WHEREAS, article 5.3, of the Arbitration Act permits oral agreements, this article impairs the ability of the government to monitor decisions made by the Tribunal;

 WHEREAS, article 6.7, of the Arbitration Act, does not allow a party to appeal a  decision made by the Tribunal;

 WHEREAS, the Arbitration Act does not require, nor does the government have records that report which religious groups are using arbitration, who is performing the arbitration or the type of agreements being made, it is all a private matter;

   WHEREAS, article 9 of the Arbitration Act permits a minimum of one arbitrator to settle disputes between two or more parties, this article impairs the benefit of independent legal counsel to all parties;

 WHEREAS, the Arbitration Act does not specify the qualifications required to be an arbitrator, this omission impairs the standards of performance across the province;

 WHEREAS, article 11.1, of the Arbitration Act states that the Arbitrator must be independent from the parties, the enforcement of this article is impaired when applying it in a religious community as the arbitrator and the parties are from the same religious community;

 WHEREAS, article 32, Conflict of Laws, of the Arbitration Act permits the parties or the arbitrator to decide which laws are appropriate to the circumstances, this article permits the use of laws from other jurisdictions, states and nations such as Iran, to settle family legal matters in Ontario;

 WHEREAS, for business the flexibility of the Arbitration Act appears to be effective and useful when settling business and property disputes, the Arbitration Act does not have the safeguards to protect the human rights of Canadians;

 WHEREAS, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, article 15. (1) states, “Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability”,  the Arbitration Act by permitting the use of faith-based arbitration for family legal matters in private courts, has denied Canadians from religious communities and particularly women and children the full protection and benefit of Canadian law;

 WHEREAS, in Ontario there are numerous and various communities where women and children, due to the internal social, political, economic and psychological pressures of their communities, feel compelled to accept the decisions of their community appointed arbitrators in a private court, even when those decisions are contrary to the secular laws of Ontario and Canada;

 WHEREAS, the Arbitration Act permits the application of both formal and informal, religious laws, regulations, codes and doctrines, with no government monitoring of the nature of the arbitration nor of the degree of informed consent by the parties nor the settlement determined by the Tribunal and;

 WHEREAS, women and children who find themselves in such oppressive and disempowered situations, out of fear do not contest the results of the arbitration process, the government, not knowing the results of that arbitration, by it’s consequent silence, upholds the decisions of private courts, thus denying women and children their Rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

 BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED, that in order to protect all citizens of Ontario equally, the Government of Ontario amend the Arbitration Act 1991 so that matters relating to Family Law will no longer be permitted under the Arbitration Act 1991, and

 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that all family legal matters be administered by a single secular Family Court, subject to the Family Law Act of Ontario and that the rights of all concerned parties be duly protected.





Name of Organization


Ratifies resolution 04-11-01 , To Remove Family Law from the Arbitration Act 1991, and resolves to submit a signed copy of this resolution to:


The HONOURABLE MICHAEL BRYANT, MPP Attorney General of Ontario

720 Bay Street , 11th Floor, Toronto ON    M5G 2K1


Tel: (416) 326-2220             

Fax: (416) 326-4007        







Contact Person

















Postal Code
























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Last updated: 12/29/06.