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Arbitrations are essentially private litigation, ie. litigation contractually agreed to in case of dispute by contractual parties to the (attempted) exclusion of the 'local' courts (in this context, 'local' means Ontario). They can range from two or more sophisticated parties where the arbitration agreement is with respect to one (big) contract, to - on the other hand - 'contracts of adhesion' with one sophisticated contractor on one side and one of many (usually consumers) on the other. Arbitration tends to be a thing of international law.

In Ontario, there is an Arbitration Act which sets out basic rules for arbitrations, a sort of 'minimum standards' to avoid the worst excesses to which the phenomenon is subject. Most of the interesting litigation involves consumer issues, where contractual provisions try to compel arbitration in international 'venues' (ie. where the case may be heard by a country and a forum) that favour the large party, and other requirements that make contesting the contracts (invariably drafted by the large party) practically impossible for the consumer.

Here is Ontario's Arbitration Act.

Arbitration - Jurisdiction
Arbitration - Competence-Competence Principle
Arbitration and the International Commercial Arbitration Act (Ontario)
Arbitration and Tort Claims

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