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Supreme Court of Canada limits the right to appeal commercial arbitral decisions on issues of contractual interpretation

In Sattva Capital Corp. v. Creston Moly Corp., 2014 SCC 53 (Sattva), released August 1, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada overturned the historical approach and held that contractual interpretation involves questions of mixed fact and law rather than pure questions of law. As a result, leave to appeal from an arbitral award interpreting a contract should not have been granted. The Court also reaffirmed the contextual approach to contractual interpretation and explained the role of surrounding circumstances in contractual interpretation.

 

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