In brief

The Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (CRCICA) recently published its new CRCICA Arbitration Rules, which have entered into force with effect from 15 January 2024 (“2024 CRCICA Rules“).

The CRCICA Arbitration Rules were last updated in 2011 and have now been revised to meet the needs of the evolving arbitration landscape in the MENA region, as well as internationally. The 2024 CRCICA Rules, which remain based on the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules with modifications, have introduced provisions on consolidation of arbitrations, early dismissal of claims, Emergency Arbitrator Rules, Expedited Arbitration Rules, online arbitration filing, multiple contracts, and third-party funding. The Table of Administrative Fees and Fees of the Arbitral Tribunal have also been updated, as set out in Annex 1 of the 2024 CRCICA Rules.

We highlight some of these newly introduced provisions below.1

In more detail

Emphasis on electronic/technological efficiency

Article 2(6) of the 2024 Rules (Notice and calculation of periods of time) allows parties to utilize electronic means of communication (that provide for a record of transmissions) for purposes of filing any notice, submission, or proposal, including initiating arbitral proceedings with CRCICA. In this regard, Article 3(6) provides that the notice of arbitration may be submitted to the Centre using the Centre’s form according to the conditions for filing a notice of arbitration online per CRCICA’s website.

Article 17 (Conduct of arbitration and joinder) further empowers an arbitral tribunal, in consultation with the parties and taking into account the particular circumstances of the case, to utilize any technological means it considers appropriate to conduct the proceedings, and Article 28 (Hearings) specifically provides for hearings to be held in person, remotely or in hybrid format as
decided by the tribunal, in consultation with the parties.

Change in and potential exclusion of counsel

Article 5 of the 2024 CRCICA Rules (Representation and assistance) is supplemented with provisions that:

  1. Require the parties to inform promptly the other parties, the arbitral tribunal and the Centre of any change in counsel.
  2. Allow the arbitral tribunal to take any measures necessary to avoid a conflict of interest of an arbitrator arising from a change or addition in party representation, including the exclusion of new party representatives from participating in whole or in part in the arbitral proceedings.
Law applicable to the arbitration agreement

The 2024 CRCICA Rules now provide that the law applicable to the arbitration agreement will be the law of the place of arbitration/seat, unless “the parties agree in writing on the application of other laws or rules of law” (Article 36(4)). This will assist in limiting potential disputes that may arise as to the law applicable to the arbitration clause. The inclusion of such a provision in the arbitration rules may however raise questions as to how it will be read together with the provisions regarding the governing law in a contract. As the rules form part of the parties’ arbitration agreement, Article 36(4) may be interpreted as an agreement between the parties to apply the law of the seat to the arbitration agreement when they agree to the 2024 CRCICA Rules, and where the parties do not agree to the application of another law in writing. However, for purposes of Article 36(4), a question may arise regarding whether the parties’ choice of the governing law in a written contract would amount to an agreement “in writing on the application of other laws or rules of law” leading to the application to the arbitration agreement of such governing law, instead of the law of the seat.

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1  CRCICA published a helpful comparison between the 2011 and 2014 Arbitration Rules indicating the amendments that have been applied. The comprehensive comparison can be found here:

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