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Public Conference 2024


SDRCC 2024 Mediator and Arbitrator Conference

The Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada (SDRCC) is proud to partner with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to deliver the public portion of its 2024 Mediator and Arbitrator Conference. The program features presentations and panel sessions by Canadian and international speakers, including arbitrators, mediators, clients and collaborators.

General Conference Information

Below you will find links to all the relevant documents to help you plan your trip and prepare for the conference sessions:

Conference Logistical Information

Speakers' Biographies (updated January 29, 2024)




Continuing Learning Education Recognition

To better serve its legal and ADR professionals, and where possible, the SDRCC seeks recognition from provincial bar associations and ADR organizations so that participation in its conference can be credited as approved Continuing Learning Education. 

  • Content applicable for ADR Institute of Canada (ADRIC) CEE points for Q.Med & C.Med (2 points per hour, excluding meals and breaks);
  • For Alberta lawyers: Consider including this conference as a CPD learning activity in your annual Continuing Professional Development Plan;
  • For the Barreau du Québec: Declare the number of hours completed in accordance with the rules governing the continuing education obligation;
  • Law Society of New Brunswick – Accreditation Process has been discontinued effective January 1, 2023, report your CPD activities in the new member portal;
  • Law Society of British Columbia – to be confirmed
  • Law Society of Ontario – to be confirmed
  • Law Society of Saskatchewan – to be confirmed



Detailed Program

Should you have any questions regarding the content on this page or on the conference in general, please feel free to contact SDRCC staff by email or by phone (514) 866-1245.

N.B.: This page will be updated frequently. New items will be marked by date added. Also, there will be no paper nor any electronic support supplied on site. 

Suggested Readings:



Thursday, February 1, 2024 - Public Seminar Hosted by CAS and the SDRCC


8:15 - 8:30 - Session #1 – (SOUTH FOYER)

Traditional Welcome and Opening Remarks                                                     

  • Speakers: Henri Giroux and Matthieu Reeb.

8:30 - 8:50 - Session #2 – (SOUTH FOYER)

Update on SDRCC Activities

  • Presenter: Marie-Claude Asselin

8:50 - 9:50 - Session #3 – (SOUTH FOYER)

Review of Recent SDRCC and CAS Jurisprudence

Session Description: Presentation and analysis of a carefully selected sample of recent arbitral awards, highlighting trends and novelties, and their potential significance in shaping future CAS and SDRCC decisions.

  • Presenters: Jean-Philippe Dubey and Ambrosia Varaschin

Suggested Reading: (updated January 30, 2024)


9:50 - 10:10 - NETWORKING BREAK (visit the SDRCC kiosk!) - (SOUTH FOYER)

10:10 - 11:10 - Session #4 – (SOUTH FOYER)

Managing Delay Tactics to Enhance Efficiency in the Conduct of Proceedings

Session Description: Arbitration is an alternative to civil court proceedings, which in the context of sport was introduced as a means to provide cost-effective and quick access to justice. When a party to an arbitration abuses the rules of procedure in order to delay the process, it raises the question as to why they would accept arbitration in the first place. In SDRCC cases especially, where arbitrator fees are covered by federal funding, the costs of these dilatory tactics are borne by Canadian taxpayers for the benefit of mostly very rich parties and their well-paid lawyers. Other than a hefty cost award, what are the means within an arbitrator’s authority to curb this trend?

  • Presenters: Ulrich Haas and Kim Bodnarchuk

Suggested Readings: (updated January 26, 2024)

11:15 - 12:15 - Session #5 - Breakout Discussions: 

Session #5A – (MAYFAIR ROOM)

Protection of Vulnerable Parties and Witnesses in Testimony

Session Description: Due to the very nature of its business, sport arbitration has always involved underage parties. In the context of a significant increase in harassment and abuse cases, the vulnerability of parties can take different forms beyond young age, including mental health challenges and being in a power imbalance relationship with another party. Under what circumstances should arbitrators consider testimonial accommodations and what types of accommodations would be acceptable to protect complainants and witnesses while maintaining a fair process for the person accused?

  • Presenters:  Hugh Fraser and Carlos Sayao

Suggested Reading: (updated January 25, 2024)

Session #5B – (BONAVISTA ROOM)

Inclusive Award-Writing Techniques - 

Session Description: Arbitrators are encouraged to be conscious of how language used in their awards may impact others, with the goal of preventing feelings of exclusion, discomfort or devaluation. This includes making personal assumptions based on culture, ancestry, age, religion, sexual orientation or gender identification, or disability. Learn how metaphors and colloquialisms must be used with caution and thoughtfulness, and how arbitrators can overcome their unconscious bias through enhanced awareness and professional development.

  •  Presenters:  Kathryn Oviatt and Nick Lenehan

Suggested Readings: (updated January 26, 2024)


Learnings from Mediating Safe Sport Matters 

Session Description: Cases of harassment and abuse require extra sensitivity on the part of the mediator. Parties enter the process with a lot of anxiety and concerns. If one party is not willing to be in the same virtual room with the other, caucuses and shuttle mediation may be the starting point. What can be done in advance of the first mediation session to put the parties at ease? What signs can the mediator look for to sense that the parties are making progress? How best can the mediator intervene to assist the parties while respecting party self-determination?

  • Presenters: Sue Lambert and Paul Fauteux

12:15 - 13:25 - LUNCH BUFFET - (SOUTH FOYER)

Discussion: WISLaw from a North American perspective - What's working? What's not? - (BRITANNIA / BELAIRE ROOM)

13:25 - 13:30 - Message from The Honorable Carla Qualtrough,  Minister of Sport and Physical Activity

13:30 - 14:15 - Session #6 – (SOUTH FOYER)

Data Protection and IT Security in Law and Dispute Resolution

Session Description: Arbitrators, mediators and lawyers engaging in dispute resolution processes have an enhanced responsibility towards their clients to protect their personal information and the confidentiality of the matters in dispute. While sensitive data is vulnerable in any form, it is sent, received and stored in electronic forms more than ever. Being aware of how well certain tools, applications and platforms protect is paramount. Learn from a Certified Ethical Hacker what should you look for in terms of data security when sourcing ready-made tools, applications and platforms to communicate, share and collaborate.

  • Presenter:  Paul Barbeau, HyperNET

14:15 - 15:15 - Session #7 – (SOUTH FOYER)

Match Manipulation: Where We Are, Where We Are Heading

Session Description: Match manipulation and other forms of corruption aimed at altering the results of sport competitions for personal or financial gain has been a growing concern among the international sport community. The CAS has turned its mind to it several years ago. While the SDRCC has not heard many cases akin to competition manipulation to date, that is likely to change. The joint efforts of the Canadian Centre of Ethics in Sport and a few national sport organizations are engaged in a country-wide pilot project to address this form of cheating. Get introduced to the world of gambling, match-fixing and competition manipulation and what it means for sport mediators and arbitrators.

  • Presenters:  Marianne Saroli and Jeremy Luke

15:15 - 15:30 - NETWORK BREAK (visit the SDRCC kiosk!) - (SOUTH FOYER)

15:30 - 16:25 - Session #8 – (SOUTH FOYER)

Learnings from Three Years of Applying the World Anti-Doping Code 2021

Session Description: As the worldwide consultation has already begun for the next iteration of the World Antid-Doping Code, expected to launch in 2027, the 2021 version of the rules have brought about numerous new concepts and interpretations. The goal of this session is two-fold: 1) to highlight the novelties in the 2021 Code and how they have influenced arbitral awards and, in particular, shaped the new doping jurisprudence; and 2) to discuss some of the difficulties created by the new rules which might warrant clarifications or amendments in the next version.

  • Presenters:  Richard McLaren and Janie Soublière

Suggested Reading: (updated January 19, 2024)

16:25 - 17:20 - Session #9 - Breakout Discussions:

Session #9A – (MAYFAIR ROOM)

Impact of WADA Privacy Standards on Award Writing and Jurisprudence

Session Description: The aim of the 2021 WADA standards and guidelines on privacy is to recognize the right of individuals to have their personal information disappear from the public realm after 10 years, including any decisions and proceedings in which they were involved. Although the rules allow anti-doping organizations to keep copies of jurisprudence for their own internal use, this situation raises a lot of questions about balancing the protection of athletes’ personal information with upholding the intent of the anti-doping system. 

  • Presenters:  Patrice Brunet and Matthew Kaiser

Suggested Reading: (updated January 25, 2024)


Role of the Mediator in Results Management Agreements and Case Resolution Agreements

Session Description: The SDRCC has been offering its Resolution Facilitation services in doping cases since 2009. With the new rules allowing for agreements on consequences to be negotiated between the accused and the anti-doping agencies, this session will look into the role of mediators who conduct these Resolution Facilitation sessions in bringing the parties to an acceptable solution. In particular, the presenters will explore how providing a more active role to the appointed mediator, beyond participation in the initial Resolution Facilitation session, could help the parties to resolve the case in a timelier fashion than has been the case to date.

  • Presenters: Paul Greene and Charmaine Panko

17:20 - 17:30 - Session #10 – (SOUTH FOYER)

Closing Remarks on the Public Program – Marie-Claude Asselin