New York Convention Roadshow in Cairo, Egypt
Report by Dr. Ismail Selim, Director of CRCICA
On 2 December 2017, the Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (CRCICA) hosted its second New York Convention (NYC) Roadshow in cooperation with ICCA and the National Centre for Judicial Studies. The event took place at the CRCICA Conference Centre in Cairo, Egypt.
The event was attended by 47 Egyptian judges from the Egyptian Court of Cassation, the Cairo Court of Appeal and the Conseil d’Etat, in addition to public prosecutors.
Discussions were led by ten arbitration practitioners (seven of which are/were settings judges): Judge Mohamed Amin El Mahdy (former Chief Justice of the Egyptian Conseil d’Etat), Judge Omar Hafiz, Vice-Minister of Justice for the National Center for Judicial Studies, Judge Mustafa Al-Behbitty (Vice-Minister of Justice for Arbitration Department Affairs), Prof. Dr. Ahmed S. El Kosheri (Founding Partner, Kosheri, Rashed and Riad, Cairo-Egypt and Advisory Member of ICCA), Prof. Dr. Borham Attallah (Civil Law Professor, Faculty of Law, Alexandria University), Judge Borhan Amrallah (former President of the Cairo Court of Appeal), Judge Nabil Omran (Vice-President of the Court of Cassation); Judge Ismail Al-Ziady (Head of the Commercial Circuit No 7 at Cairo Court of Appeal), ICCA Governing Board member, Dr. Mohamed Abdel Raouf (Head of Arbitration at Abdelraouf Law Firm) in addition to Dr. Ismail Selim (CRCICA Director and Secretary Treasurer of the IFCAI).
The program of the one day event commenced with opening speeches followed by three sessions. The first session included an overview of the New York Convention, its objectives, means of interpretation and salient comparative judicial application. The second session addressed the role of the Arbitration Department within the Ministry of Justice in the enforcement of the arbitration awards guided by the New York Convention. The third session focused on the role of the national judge in the international arbitration process from the perspectives of both practitioners and judges.
The sessions were followed by three panel-led discussions. The first panel covered Article I to IV of the New York Convention, the second focused on Article V of the New York Convention and the third panel discussed Article VII of the New York Convention, with special emphasis on the relationship between the New York Convention and the Riyadh Convention of 1983; and the fourth session discussed the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards set aside at the seat of arbitration.
The texts of the New York Convention, the Egyptian Arbitration Law, the relevant provisions of the Egyptian law on civil procedure, as well as the Arabic version of ICCA’s Guide to the Interpretation of the 1958 New York Convention (available to download at http://www.arbitration-icca.org/publications/NYC_Guide.html) were made available to participants, in addition to five relevant judgments rendered by the Egyptian Court of Cassation and the Cairo Court of Appeal and three doctrinal articles regarding the application of the NYC.
Participants agreed that the Roadshow was a great success, and it generated interesting discussions on topics such as the scope of discretion entrusted to national judges in enforcing arbitral awards while one or more of the causes of refusal of enforcement exist; the importance of having a harmonized application of the provisions of the New York Convention in accordance with the standards and principles of interpretation of international law; the public policy defence under the New York Convention; and an analysis of the position of the French and American courts regarding the enforcement of arbitral awards that have been set aside at the seat.
CRCICA expresses its thanks to Judge Nabil Omran for his all-encompassing PowerPoint presentation and discussions. CRCICA also acknowledges the high quality of the stimulating discussions conducted by Prof. Dr. Ahmed S. El Kosheri, Judge Borhan Amrallah, Prof. Dr. Borham Attallah, Dr. Mohamed Abdel Raouf and Judge Ismail Al-Ziady. CRCICA also expresses its gratitude to Judge Mustapha Al-Behbitty for his presentation and clarification of the role played by the arbitration department within the Ministry of Justice (mainly related to the regulation of the procedures for depositing the arbitration awards with the competent court, and is not intended to impose supervision upon judges when subsequently deciding upon the enforcement of awards). Further, CRCICA thanks the Co-organizers, Dr. Mohamed Abdel Raouf (ICCA Governing Board member) & Judge Omar Hafiz (Vice-Minister of Justice for the National Center for Judicial Studies) for their tremendous efforts in successfully conducting the second Cairo NYC Roadshow.