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Dispute Resolution Secretariat (Tribunal)

The main thrust of SDRCC is education. Through a wide range of resource materials and practical tools, were working with the Canadian sport system to prevent disputes from occurring.

We recognize, however, that disputes will surface from time to time. So, the Dispute Resolution Secretariat (tribunal) is also available for use by athletes, coaches, officials, administrators and volunteers, as well as national sport organizations and multisport services organizations.

Alternate dispute resolution has been defined as a series of processes that are alternatives to litigation and offer a number of advantages over the formal court system. Alternate dispute resolution processes include prevention, negotiation, mediation, facilitation and arbitration. The goals of an alternate dispute resolution system are to:

  • reduce time and costs for dispute resolution;
  • maintain or improve the disputants' relationship;
  • ensure that the outcome of the system is realistic, workable, and durable;
  • develop a process that people can learn from.

The two most common forms of alternate dispute resolution processes are mediation and arbitration.

Services offered by the Dispute Resolution Secretariat

The Dispute Resolution Secretariat (tribunal) offers resolution facilitation, mediation, med/arb, and arbitration services.You can obtain more information on what these different forms of dispute resolution entail by visiting the following subsections:

Resolution Facilitation: Process through which a procedural assistance is provided to enable the parties in dispute to communicate more effectively and move towards agreement. The resolution facilitator is a neutral "process manager" and can help disputants to better understand the options available, and to clarify the issues as stake.

Mediation: Process through which a professional and neutral third party helps the parties find a solution together. Mediation only brings a dispute to an end if both parties, with the intervention and assistance of the mediator, are able to come to an agreement that resolves the dispute. The solution agreed upon must then be respected by the parties.

Med/Arb: 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, the mediator then becomes an arbitrator and will render a decision which will be final and binding on the parties.

Arbitration: Process that uses a neutral third party who hears evidence and decides how the conflict should be resolved. Arbitration tends to be more structured and formal than mediation. Unlike mediation, this approach will bring closure to the dispute, whether the two sides agree or not. The arbitrators decision is final and binding. Indeed, the decision of the arbitrator may not accord with the resolution suggested by either party, but it will nevertheless be final.

World-Class Personnel

In dispute resolution, the independence of the third party - whether one individual or a panel - is critical. Both mediation and arbitration also tend to be more successful when the mediator or arbitrator has expertise in the area being disputed.

SDRCC has established a roster of highly qualified mediators, med/arb neutrals and arbitrators, located in every region of the country. Together they can mediate and arbitrate in both official languages and are available to members of the Canadian sport system at the national level. All have received intensive training and are well equipped to deal with circumstances and situations unique to the world of sport.

The operations, deliberations and rulings of the Dispute Resolution Secretariat (tribunal) are guided by the Canadian Sport Dispute Resolution Code.