Frequently Asked Questions
- My NSO has made a decision that is affecting me and which I believe is unfair. Can SDRCC help me?
- Who can use the services offered by the Dispute Resolution Secretariat?
- How much does it cost to use the services offered by the Dispute Resolution Secretariat and what does it include?
- Other than the filing fee, how much can it cost me to engage in a mediation or arbitration process?
- What types of dispute can be heard by the Dispute Resolution Secretariat?
- What are the different steps of the processes before the Dispute Resolution Secretariat?
- What is the difference between resolution facilitation, mediation, med/arb and arbitration and how do I choose between them?
- Can I be represented before the Dispute Resolution Secretariat? Who will pay the representation fees?
- What are the advantages of using the services offered by the Dispute Resolution Secretariat instead of the regular courts?
- Where does the resolution facilitation, mediation, med/arb or arbitration take place?
- What happens after an agreement has been signed or an arbitration decision has been rendered?
- What happens if a party fails to comply with the agreement or decision?
1. My NSO has made a decision that is affecting me and which I believe is unfair. Can SDRCC help me?
The SDRCC can only hear disputes that have been heard through the internal appeal process of an NSO first. In essence, for your case to be admissible, you must have exhausted all potential avenues within your NSO first.
2. Who can use the services offered by the Dispute Resolution Secretariat?
All members of the Canadian sport community acting at the national level (athletes, coaches, officials, national sport federations, multisport organizations, administrators, volunteers) can access these services.
3. How much does it cost to use the services offered by the Dispute Resolution Secretariat and what does it include?
Resolution facilitation services are free. A filing fee of $500 is necessary to request mediation, med/arb or arbitration services. This cost can be paid by just one party or shared by both parties, depending on what they have agreed to. The SDRCC will pay for all the costs related to the process itself, including telephone and mailing costs, arbitrator/mediator fees and expenses, translation of documents, dispute secretariat personnel salaries, and facilities rental if required.
4. Other than the filing fee, how much can it cost me to engage in a mediation or arbitration process?
In order to get a good estimate of the costs that you may incur, you must consider whether you want to hire a legal representative, whether you will be required to travel to attend a hearing in person, whether witnesses you wish to bring along also need to travel, etc. You must also keep in mind that SDRCC rules allow for parties to request costs, and the arbitrator has the authority to compel a party to reimburse fees and expenses incurred by another party.
5. What types of dispute can be heard by the Dispute Resolution Secretariat?
The Dispute Resolution Secretariat can hear cases on the following issues:
- National team selection for an international event
- Athlete Assistance Program funding
- Interpretation of a contract
- Field of play decision
- Any decision handed down by a national sport organization or a multisport organization or one of its representatives that affects one of its members
Note: Disputes at the international, provincial, municipal and local levels fall outside the jurisdiction of the Dispute Resolution Secretariat.
6. What are the different steps of the processes before the Dispute Resolution Secretariat?
From the moment a) a decision is rendered by an NSO/MSO following an internal appeal process or b) the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) communicates an notification of anti-doping rule violation, there are essentially 5 steps :
Step 1: Request
You must send the Dispute Resolution Secretariat a written request to initiate mediation, med/arb or arbitration, using the form provided.
Step 2: Case management by Dispute Resolution Secretariat
Upon receipt of your Request, the Dispute Resolution Secretariat will guide you through the various steps of the process and all you have to do is follow instructions.
Step 3: Resolution Facilitation
Barring exceptional circumstances, parties requesting an arbitration hearing must first participate in an informal resolution facilitation meeting. This meeting will allow the parties to express their comprehension of the conflict, to clarify the issues and to analyze possible path of solutions in order to avoid , if possible, having to participate in the arbitration hearing.
Step 4: The meeting or the hearing
The parties meet with the mediator, med/arb neutral or arbitrator. Each party presents its position and discusses the contentious issues. The mediator will guide them toward a mutually satisfactory solution; the arbitrator will hear their arguments and ask them questions to gain a full understanding of all the issues underlying the dispute.
Step 5: Agreement or decision
After the meeting or hearing, the mediator will assist parties in putting in writing any agreement reached, if applicable, and signing it. The arbitrator will write a decision that will be final and binding upon the parties; it cannot be appealed (unless except for certain doping cases).
7. What is the difference between resolution facilitation, mediation, med/arb and arbitration and how do I choose between them?
Resolution Facilitation is the less formal process and is intended to help parties communicate more effectively, better understand their options, and agree on the real issues at stake. In some case, the resolution facilitation will lead to a settlement, but it is not the primary goal.
Mediation is where a professional and neutral third party helps the parties find a solution together. The mediator does not render a decision. If parties cannot agree, mediation may be abandoned without a resolution.
Med/Arb is a dispute resolution process that combines mediation and arbitration. Initially, the parties try to reach a settlement through mediation. If there are issues that are not resolved through mediation, an arbitrator (the same person who acted as mediator) makes a decision for the parties.
Arbitration uses a neutral third party who hears evidence and decides how the conflict should be resolved. Unlike mediation, this approach will bring closure to the dispute, whether the two sides agree or not. The arbitrator's decision is final and binding.
8. Can I be represented before the Dispute Resolution Secretariat? Who will pay the representation fees?
You can be represented or accompanied by a person of your choice during a resolution facilitation, a mediation, a med/arb or an arbitration process (parents, coaches, friends, guardians, team-mates, lawyers, etc.), but it is not mandatory. Representation fees must be paid by the party concerned, not by the Dispute Resolution Secretariat.
9. What are the advantages of using the services offered by the Dispute Resolution Secretariat instead of the regular courts?
The main advantages are as follows:
- The Secretariat specializes in Canadian amateur sport law;
- Its services are simple to use;
- Its services are fast;
- Its services are inexpensive;
- Its procedures are flexible and geared to parties' needs.
10. Where does the resolution facilitation, mediation, med/arb or arbitration take place?
A mediation session or arbitration hearing can be held in person, by videoconference, by conference call, or any combination of these formats. In some certain circumstances and when the arbitrator deems it appropriate, a hearing can take the form of a documentary review.
11. What happens after an agreement has been signed or an arbitration decision has been rendered?
The parties must comply with the agreement or the decision because they undertook to do so by agreeing to resolution facilitation, mediation, med/arb or arbitration before the Dispute Resolution Secretariat. In certain doping cases only, parties have a right to appeal a decision.
12. What happens if a party fails to comply with the agreement or decision?
If one of the parties fails to comply with the agreement or decision, the injured party can always ask a court to confirm (ratify) it. When the court confirms (ratifies) the agreement or decision, it becomes enforceable, just as if it had been handed down by the court itself. In short, the injured party can go through the court system to make the offending party comply with the agreement or decision.
For any other questions or comments, please contact us.