BEBA: Role of Arbitration in Difficult Times (Experience of CRCICA)

British Egyptian Business Association (BEBA) held this morning session entitled “The Role of Arbitration in Difficult Times, the Experience of CRCICA”.  Dr. Mohamed Abdel Raouf, Director of Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (CRCICA), headed the session.

Dr Mohamed Abdel Raouf started his speech by asking: Are we in difficult times? And the answer was yes.

He introduced CRCICA as an independent, non-profit and self-financed international organization. It was established in 1979, under the auspicious of Asian African Legal Consultative Organization (AALCO).

Dr Abdel Raouf elaborated that CRCICA’s arbitration rules serve four purposes; first purpose is the collegial decision-making which include the rejection of appointment, the removal and challenge of arbitrators. Second purpose is seeking to modernize the rules and to promote greater efficiency in arbitrator proceedings. The following purpose is filling in the gap. As per the fourth purpose, it is adjusting the original tables of costs to ensure transparency in the determination of the arbitrators’ fees.

He talked about important factors such as the assessment of jurisdiction of the institution. He considered the factor of controlling the impartiality and independence of the arbitrators as crucial one. As this factor concern reflecting any appointment of any arbitrator due to the lack of any legal contract, and it also concern challenging the arbitrators.

Talking about controlling the arbitration costs, Dr Abdel Raoyf said CRCICA remains the least expensive institution, as the smaller disputes range from $100,000 to $1 million in value. As per the cases, they range from $500 million to $1 billion.

He mentioned that the number of Arab cases which under CRCICA until 15 July, 2012 reached 840 ones.

In H1 of 2012, almost 48 new cases were filed, with 62% annual increase; compared to 30 ones in 2011.

Dr Abdel Raouf emphasized that one of the new dispute cases emerged in 2011 was the Islamic finance. There are many kinds of disputes cases, such as telecommunication, hotel management, media and broadcasting and real estate; but construction disputes top CRCICA.

The disputes cases occupied CRCICA in 2012 are media and broadcasting, sports related, constructions and industrial , commercial and urban development.

He mentioned that the cases in 2011-2012 faced difficult problems due to the political and economic situations.   In 2012, the small cases suspended because of the lack of liquidity. And most of the cases are based on financial problems due to Egyptian revolution.