The Honourable Mr. Justice Brian R Burrows has stated that the court cannot grant an order waiving the responsibility of parties to an action to participate in a dispute resolution process solely on the basis of the consent of the parties.

In Rampersaud v Baumgartner, 2012 ABQB 673, counsel for the plaintiff brought a consent order seeking that the dispute resolution requirement of Alberta Rules of Court Rule 4.16(1) be waived.   Counsel represented that counsel for both parties agreed that a dispute resolution process in the action would be futile, but did not provide any evidence as to whether the grounds for waiver under R. 4.16(2) were present, and neither party to the action attended the application, as required under R. 4.16(3).

Justice Burrows refused to grant the application, noting that the intent of Rule 4.16, which made a once-voluntary process now mandatory, would be entirely frustrated if parties were permitted to consent out of the process. The Honourable Justice further noted that such an order could not be granted when the parties do not satisfy the attendance requirements of R. 4.16(3).