Comparative Guides

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4. Results: Answers
International Arbitration
The role of the court during an arbitration
Will the court in your jurisdiction stay proceedings and refer parties to arbitration if there is an arbitration agreement?

Answer ... A state court seized with a dispute in respect of which an arbitral agreement exists must decide that the action is non-admissible if the defendant invokes a plea of non-admissibility before raising any request or defence in the case.

For more information about this answer please contact: Ismail Selim from The Cairo Regional Centre of International Arbitration
Does the court in your jurisdiction have any powers in relation to an arbitration seated in your jurisdiction and/or seated outside your jurisdiction? What are these powers? Under what conditions are these powers exercised?

Answer ... The Arbitration Law provides for certain instances whereby the Egyptians courts may intervene in the arbitral proceedings subject to the request of either party to the dispute. For example, the local court may order that provisional or conservatory measures be taken, whether before the commencement of arbitral proceedings or during the procedure on the basis of an application from one of the parties; the president of the Court referred to in article (9) of the Egyptian Arbitration law shall, upon request from the Arbitral Tribunal, be competent to: pass judgment against defaulting or intransigent witnesses imposing the penalties prescribed in articles 78 and 80 of the Law of Evidence in Civil and Commercial matters; and order a judicial delegation.

Egyptian courts will not grant an injunction to restrain proceedings started overseas in breach of an arbitration agreement. However, any judgment issued in these proceedings would not be enforceable in Egypt.

As have been mentioned before, if the arbitral tribunal does not have jurisdiction under the arbitration agreement to issue interim awards, the parties can request the Egyptian Courts to issue interim awards (for example, injunctions and attachments).

To sum up, Egyptian courts may assist the arbitral process in many respects, including by:

  • granting interim measures9 (Article 14);
  • appointing arbitrators (Article 17)10;
  • deciding on challenges to arbitrators (Article 19); and
  • deciding whether to extend the time limit to issue the award or terminate the arbitral proceedings (Article 45).

The risk of an Egyptian court intervening to frustrate an arbitration seated in its jurisdiction is quite minimal, as the courts are not generally allowed to intervene in the arbitration proceedings. However, if a document is challenged as a forgery the jurisdiction to rule on this lies with the courts. This could delays the arbitral proceedings. The Arbitration Law expressly provides that all challenges to the arbitral tribunal's decisions and preliminary awards must await the final conclusion of the arbitration process and the issue of the final arbitration award.


9. The Arbitration Law does not specifically empower arbitral tribunals and domestic courts to order security for costs. However, security for costs may be ordered as part of the domestic court’s general power to grant interim measures in support of the arbitral process under Article 14 of the Egyptian Arbitration Law. Similarly, Article 24.1 of the law allows the parties to empower the arbitral tribunal to grant any interim relief it deems appropriate, which may arguably include security for costs.

10. Article 17 of the Arbitration law provides that if the parties disagree on one or more of the arbitrators to be appointed, the domestic court – determined by Article 9 to be the Cairo Court of Appeal by default unless otherwise agreed by the parties – will appoint the sole arbitrator or intervene as necessary to appoint all or some of the arbitrators.

For more information about this answer please contact: Ismail Selim from The Cairo Regional Centre of International Arbitration
Can the parties exclude the court's powers by agreement?

Answer ... Pursuant to the Arbitration law, arbitral awards cannot be appealed. As for setting aside, Article 54 of the act provides that a waiver by a party of its right to set aside the award does not preclude the setting-aside application, if the waiver was made before the award was issued.

For more information about this answer please contact: Ismail Selim from The Cairo Regional Centre of International Arbitration
International Arbitration