Arbitration is a contractual form of legal settlement for domestic and/or international disputes. Any given party's right to refer their dispute to arbitration depends on the existence of an 'Arbitration Agreement' between parties to the dispute.
Recognizing the increasing importance of international arbitration as a means of settling international commercial disputes, the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards ("New York Convention 1958") seeks to provide common legislative standards on the recognition of arbitration agreements as well as the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards by courts.
As a party to the Convention, Egypt is under an obligation to recognize foreign arbitral awards and to consider them enforceable in its jurisdiction according to its domestic law. However, the judge ordering implementation may refuse the recognition and enforcement of the award, on the basis of a request issued by the party against whom the award was made in certain circumstances, the most important of which are:
- The composition of the arbitral tribunal (or the arbitral proceedings) was not conducted with the consent of the parties to the dispute, or the arbitral proceedings were not consistent with the domestic law of the country in which the arbitration took place;
- The opposition of the arbitral award via judicial precedence in Egypt or its contravention of public order and the validity of its declaration;
- The party against whom the award was made was not notified of the appointment of the arbitrator, or of the arbitral proceedings, or that he/she was unable to present his/her case.
Furthermore, if the arbitral award is subjected to the provisions of the Egyptian Arbitration Law, obtaining an order to implement the arbitral award from the President of the competent court is sufficient. Moreover, the court's jurisdiction varies according to the type of arbitration, if the arbitration is not of an international commercial nature, the jurisdiction shall be decided by the court initially competent to hear the case, however, if the arbitration is of an international commercial nature, the Cairo Court of Appeal shall have jurisdiction, unless the parties agree on the jurisdiction of another Court of Appeal in Egypt.
On the other hand, if the foreign arbitral award has not been agreed upon by the parties to implement the provisions of the Egyptian Arbitration Law, then the party to whom the award was granted, must file a case in accordance with the standard procedures stipulated in the Civil and Commercial Procedures Law and according to the New York Convention 1958. The Court of First Instance, which is to be executed in its Chamber, would have jurisdiction over such cases.
We refer to one of the cases initiated by our office in which the Cairo Court of Appeal refused to implement the foreign arbitral award, since the parties did not agree to apply the rules of Arbitration law. The judgment indicated that a case must be filed using the standard procedures for implementing the judgment, consistent with the implementation of foreign judgments, and according to the Civil and Commercial Procedures Law, not Arbitration Law.
Lastly, the purpose of this article is to emphasize that the parties' agreement to apply the rules of Arbitration Law no. 27 of 1994 in an arbitration agreement would make the implementation of the foreign execution judgment more simplistic in Egypt.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.