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Egypt – New Developments in Arbitration Law

In: Yearbook of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law Online
Authors:
Mohamed S. Abdel Wahab Founding Partner & Head of International Arbitration, Construction and Energy at Zulficar & Partners Law Firm, Professor of International Arbitration and Private International Law at Cairo University Cairo Egypt

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Noha Khaled Senior Associate at Zulficar & Partners Law Firm Cairo Egypt

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Abstract

Arbitration in Egypt is undergoing changes to cope with the novel global developments in international arbitration. These changes mainly feature in the reasoning of court decisions deciding on arbitration related matters and more specifically nullity actions filed against arbitral awards, as well as in contemplated legislative and regulatory amendments. This summary update tackles four principal new developments. Firstly, the amendments to the Supreme Constitutional Court’s Law which vests the Supreme Constitutional Court with new powers to review the constitutionality of (1) decisions rendered by international organisations, and (2) foreign court judgments which enforcement is sought against the Egyptian state in Egypt. Secondly, the closure of an ongoing saga in relation to the setting aside of the famous Kharafi vs. Libya arbitral award, whereby the Egyptian Court of Cassation finally upheld the validity of the arbitral award and dismissed the Libyan state’s nullity action. Thirdly, the judgment of the Egyptian Court of Cassation, which, for the first time in its history, annulled an ICC arbitral award based on Article 53(2) of the Egyptian Arbitration Law. Fourthly, the Covid-19 silver lining as reflected in a 2020 Court of Cassation decision, rendered midst the pandemic, whereby the Court established and affirmed many principles including, the principle of estoppel, party representation in arbitration by foreign and non-lawyers, delocalisation (distinguishing between seat and venue) and explicitly referred to the conduct of virtual hearings.

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