In order to make it easy for the investors and the keenness of the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones to solve all the problems and challenges facing investors, the new investment law No. 72 of 2017 provides for several ways to settle investment disputes between resorting to courts, arbitration and settlement committees that shall be established by a decision of the competent minister and the prime minister. The following is the most recent updates of the new law:
First: The Grievance Committee
This is responsible for the consideration of grievances from decisions issued by the General Authority for Investment or any competent authority to grant licenses and permits. It is headed by an advisor from one of the judicial bodies, a representative of the Commission and an experienced person. The grievances shall be submitted within fifteen working days from the date of notification or knowledge of the decision. The Committee shall decide on what is presented to it by a reasoned decision within thirty days from the date of the hearing of the parties. And its decision is final and binding to all competent authorities without prejudice to the right of the investor to resort to the judiciary.
In order to activate the provisions of the law, two committees were formed to consider grievances arising from administrative decisions or approvals and licenses issued by the administrative authorities, as the case may be. Where the Minister of Investment and International Cooperation issued:
a- Ministerial Decree No. (135) for the year 2018 to form the first committee of grievance committees in accordance with the provisions of the Investment Law No. 72 of 2017 under the chairmanship of the President Counselor of the Court of Appeal of Cairo, where the Commission is competent to consider the applications of grievances submitted by investors in regard to free of charge -land ownership , the allocation of real estate for the establishment of projects operating by the free zones areas system, cancel the granted licenses and/or cancel projects of free zones, as well as granting incentives for public or private or additional investment projects.
b- Ministerial Decision No. (226) for the year 2018 to form a committee for the consideration of grievances in accordance with the provisions of the Companies Law No. 159 of 1981 under the chairmanship of the Advisor, Vice-Premier of the Council of State. The Committee is competent to hear grievances from decisions of the General Authority for Investment regarding the authentication of the amendment made on the regulations of companies, the authentication of the amendment of the financial structures of companies and the convening of meetings of the General Assemblies of companies.
Second: Ministerial Committee for Dispute Resolution
This is the committee that is competent to consider the submitted requests or complaints or disputes that arise between investors and the State or one of the bodies or bodies or companies affiliated to it. And formed by a decision of the Prime Minister and a member of the Vice-Premier of the Council of State. The Committee shall decide on what is presented to it by a reasoned decision within thirty days from the date of the hearing of the parties. The decision shall be final and enforceable and shall be binding on all competent authorities and the provisions of Article 123 of the Penal Code shall be applied in case the authorities refrained from applying the decision. All without prejudice to the right of the investor to resort to the judiciary.
Third: The Ministerial Committee for the Settlement of Investment Contract Disputes
It is the committee that deals with the settlement of disputes arising from investment contracts to which the State or one of its subsidiaries or affiliates is a party. It is formed under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister and one of the Vice-Presidents of the Council of State participates in its membership. The committee shall discuss the disputes arising between the parties to the investment contracts and shall have the necessary adjustment procedure to address the imbalance of those contracts and extend the time, periods or deadlines stipulated therein. It also undertakes the rescheduling of financial receivables or correcting the previous procedures for the conclusion of contracts, provided that the settlement is presented to the Council of Ministers and after its adoption becomes enforceable and binding to the competent administrative bodies and has the strength of the executive bond.
Fourth: Arbitration and Mediation Center
The Investment Law allows for the use of ad hoc arbitration or institutional arbitration where article 90 stipulates the establishment of an independent arbitration and mediation center called the Egyptian Center for Arbitration and Mediation, which shall have a legal personality and shall have its status in the governorate of Cairo. It settles the disputes arising between investors or between them and between the State or one of its affiliates.
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