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Dispute Resolution FAQ

  1. What is the dispute process?
  2. When must the dispute process commence?
  3. What is the Dispute Resolution Panel?
  4. What are good faith negotiations?
  5. What is a "Notice of Dispute"?
  6. What is a "Response"?
  7. What is the purpose of the "Summary of Dispute" and the "Summary of Response"?
  8. What is mediation?
  9. What is arbitration?
  10. What is the role of the Secretary of the Dispute Resolution Panel?
  1. What is the dispute process?
    The Market Rules include a Dispute Resolution process for the resolution of disputes arising under the Market Rules. This process is formally defined in Chapter 3, Section 2 of the Market Rules and unless specifically excluded, applies as the default process. Disputing parties must comply with these procedures before commencing a civil or other proceeding.
  1. When does the dispute process commence?
    The dispute resolution process begins with the service of a Notice of Dispute on a respondent. Once the formal process begins, there are numerous timelines to be aware of. Parties should carefully follow the Market Rules and the Dispute Resolution Market Manual to ensure that these timelines are met.
  1. What is the Dispute Resolution Panel?
    The Dispute Resolution Panel is comprised of at least three qualified persons with experience in the arbitration or mediation of disputes. Each member of the Panel is independent of the IESO and the market participants. Panel members are appointed for a five-year term.
    The duties of the Panel are to mediate and arbitrate disputes regarding the application and interpretation of the Market Rules. They are delegated the authority to impose penalties and make orders and directions as specified in the Market Rules.
  1. What are good faith negotiations?
    As an initial step, the parties to a dispute attempt to resolve the dispute informally through good faith negotiations between authorized representatives of the parties. The intent is to resolve the differences without third party assistance. Each party can take the opportunity to examine the origins of the dispute, its implications, and the other party's perspective. During this process, each party should also more fully assess and evaluate the merits of its own position. Resolution at this stage avoids the financial costs of mediation and arbitration.
  1. What is a "Notice of Dispute"?
     If good faith negotiations fail , or the parties waive the requirement to engage in good faith negotiations, a party who wishes to pursue the issue further, they may file a Notice of Dispute with the Secretary of the Dispute Resolution Panel. The Notice of Dispute shall set out the nature of the complaint and a summary of the facts underlying the dispute. The Notice of Dispute must be accompanied by a brief summary. There is no charge for filing a Notice of Dispute.
  1. What is a "Response"?
     If you are served with a Notice of Dispute, you must serve (on the Applicant) and file (with the Secretary of the Dispute Resolution Panel) a Response within 10 business days of receiving a Notice of Dispute. The Response shall contain a concise response to the allegations made against the respondent in the Notice of Dispute. The Response must also be accompanied by a brief summary.
  1. What is the purpose of the "Summary of Dispute" and the "Summary of Response"?
    In the event that the dispute goes to arbitration, the brief summaries of the Notice of Dispute and Response are published on the IESO Website where they serve to inform other market participants of disputes, which might affect them. The publication of these summaries also provides an opportunity for affected parties to request standing as interveners in a dispute. If the dispute is resolved during mediation, the summaries are not published.
  1. What is mediation?
    Mediation is a process that facilitates resolution of a dispute by invoking assistance from an independent Mediator. The Secretary of the Dispute Resolution Panel assigns one member of the Panel to the parties as a Mediator. The selected individual has no authority to determine an outcome. Rather, the Mediator's role is to assist the parties to voluntarily reach a mutually satisfactory agreement. Even if the parties are unable to resolve the dispute, they are required to make good faith efforts to arrive at an agreed statement of fact and/or issues for use at arbitration. If all parties concur, they can dispense with mediation and proceed to arbitration. The costs of mediation are shared equally between the parties, with each party bearing their own personal costs.
  1. What is arbitration?
    If the parties to a dispute dispense with mediation, cannot reach an agreement within 10 days (or longer, if agreed), or if the Mediator determines that it is not useful to continue, mediation is terminated and the parties move to arbitration. The Secretary offers the disputing parties a list of at least three Panel members available to arbitrate the dispute and appoints one if the parties fail to make a selection. During arbitration, a single Arbitrator hears arguments and issues awards in writing with reasons. The award of an Arbitrator is final and binding, subject only to limited rights of appeal or review as prescribed by applicable law. The Arbitrator may award costs for the arbitration to the parties, including intervenors. Arbitration Notices and Decisions are available from this Web site.
  1. What is the role of the Secretary of the Dispute Resolution Panel?
    Once a dispute is formally launched, the Secretary of the Panel oversees the dispute process from beginning to end. The Secretary appoints a Mediator, offers a list of potential Arbitrators and selects an Arbitrator, if necessary. The Secretary maintains a record of most dispute resolution proceedings. Formal documents required by the Market Rules must be filed with the Secretary of the Panel:

    Secretary, Dispute Resolution Panel
    1600-120 Adelaide Street West
    Toronto, ON M5H 1T1
    Fax: 416.506.2843
    Email: IESO-LegalServices@ieso.ca