Egypt: Recent Developments in Arbitration

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

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Noha Khaled Counsel, Zulficar & Partners Law Firm Cairo Egypt

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This Article tackles two main streamlines. Firstly, the legislative updates pertaining to international arbitration within the jurisdiction. These consist in the following: (i) the establishment of a committee to work on a proposal for the amendment of the Egyptian Arbitration Law, within a limited scope of amendments; and (ii) the amendments to Prime Ministerial Decree No. 1062 of 2019 expanding the scope of review of the High Committee for Arbitration and International Disputes, by virtue of Prime Ministerial Decrees No. 2592 of 2020 and No. 3218 of 2022. Secondly, the case law updates where Egyptian courts have addressed various issues proving that the Egyptian judiciary is an arbitration-friendly seat and in alignment with international arbitration trends. Among the cited case law updates, the Egyptian Court of Cassation has expressly cited the IBA Guidelines on Conflicts of Interest in International Arbitration (2014), for the first time ever, when addressing the duty of disclosure of an arbitrator. The Court of Cassation has also set the conditions that require to be fulfilled if an arbitrator abstains from signing the arbitral award and has set definitions for deliberations and dissenting opinions. The Cairo Court of Appeal has considered the arbitrators’ illness of COVID-19 as a force majeure event that interrupts the arbitration proceedings by the force of law and held that WhatsApp instant messaging constitutes a valid means of communication in arbitral proceedings as long as the fundamental principles of arbitration are observed.

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