Answer ... Egyptian law allows for private enforcement. According to general principles of civil law, anyone that suffers damage as a result of a wrongful act has the right to seek compensation for the damage sustained (Article 163 of the Civil Code).
Thus, private enforcement can take the form of a private claim based on tort for damages before the competent civil court.
In addition, civil claims for compensation can be raised as a direct action before a criminal court, to be decided alongside a criminal lawsuit concerning the same violation. This is because according to Egyptian law, anyone that suffers harm as a result of a criminal act can choose between:
- raising a civil claim before the criminal court to be heard together with the criminal action; or
- raising a separate civil action before the civil court to seek damages.
However, since criminal cases arising from the Competition Law can only be initiated through the submission of a prior request from the chairman of the Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) (Article 21 of the Competition Law), this constitutes a limitation on bringing civil actions before the criminal courts.
However, the other route – that is, raising a separate civil claim before the civil court – remains open. Nothing in the law provides that raising a criminal action by ECA is a precondition for raising a separate civil claim by the victims of the wrongful acts. On the contrary, Article 20(3) of the Competition Law provides that the ECA’s decisions are without prejudice to the liabilities arising from violations of the Competition Law.
In this case, the competent court will be the economic civil courts, which has exclusive jurisdiction over all disputes arising from the application of certain laws, including the Competition Law (the Law on the Establishment of Economic Courts (120/2008)).
However, criminal proceedings cannot not be initiated in relation to violations of the Competition Law without prior written request from the chairman of the board of directors of the ECA based on the approval of a majority of its members, which must be submitted to the Egyptian public prosecutor, who has the authority to initiate a criminal lawsuit (Article 21 of the Competition Law).
Answer ... The legal basis for bringing a private civil action for breach of the Competition Law is tort law. According to Egyptian law, any violation of a legal obligation is considered a tortious fault, which entitles the victim to a tort claim for damages arising from this violation (Article 163 of the Civil Code).