Established in 1979 pursuant to the exchange of letters between the Arab Republic of Egypt (“Egypt”) and the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization1 (“AALCO”),2 CRCICA is an independent non-profit international organisation with its headquarters in Cairo, Egypt. CRCICA provides alternative dispute resolution services. It adopted the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (“UNCITRAL”) Rules, with few amendments to suit institutional arbitration. Since its establishment, CRCICA offered solely arbitration services. However, in 1990, CRCICA introduced Mediation Rules. CRCICA is managed by a Director and is composed of two main bodies: the Board of Trustees and the Advisory Committee.
CRCICA was originally established in January 1979 for a three-year term3. This term was renewed twice in 19834 and 19865 respectively. In 1989, Egypt and AALCO concluded a treaty granting CRCICA permanent status, confirming its status as an international organisation and reiterating its independence.6
III. Independence and Immunities
CRCICA and its officers enjoy full independence while undertaking their missions. CRCICA’s Director, Deputy Director and Counsel enjoy the status of international civil servants.7 CRCICA itself enjoys all immunities provided to an international organisation, in particular immunity from jurisdiction8 and from execution.9
IV. Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees is composed of 10 to 30 members of eminent African and Asian personalities specialized in a spectrum of fields, in particular in international arbitration. The Board of Trustees has several functions, including the appointment of CRCICA’s Director, determining the general policy for achieving the objectives of CRCICA, and approving CRCICA’s standards regarding the selection of arbitrators.10 The Board of Trustees also supervises CRCICA’s activities and approves its financial statements.
V. Advisory Committee
The Director of CRCICA appoints the members of the Advisory Committee from among the members of the Board of Trustees, as well as other eminent African, Asian and other personalities specialized in the fields of international arbitration and trade. The Advisory Committee carries out several missions, amongst the most notable are deciding on removal and challenge of arbitrators, providing advice with respect to CRCICA’s decision to reject the appointment of arbitrators and with respect to depriving a party from its right to appoint.11
CRCICA handles a significant amount of arbitration proceedings in different industries, such as construction, media and entertainment, hospitality, oil & gas and real-estate development.12 Several bilateral investment treaties include the CRCICA as a potential place of arbitration for disputes between an investor and a contracting State.13 The Center has administered arbitration proceedings under bilateral investment treaties and contracts. Unfortunately, the outcome of a majority of these investment arbitrations remains confidential.14 The CRCICA was selected as the place of arbitration and the CRCICA Rules applied to the proceedings in two published cases.15
CRCICA Caseload of the year 2018. The CRCICA has handled only one investment arbitration case. See Mohamed Abdulmohsen Al Kharafi & Sons Co. v. Libya and others, para. 9c.2 (“the Tribunal determined the arbitral proceedings before it, i.e. the proceedings of the Cairo Regional Center for International Commercial Arbitration (CRCICA), except for peremptory rules of the Agreement which are not in conflict with the proceedings of the Cairo Regional Center.”)
Croatia-Egypt BIT (1997), Art 7(2) (“If these disputes cannot be settled in this way within six months from the date of the written notification mentioned in paragraph 1, the conflict shall be submitted, at the choice of the Investors to: the competent tribunal of the Republic of Croatia for investments made in the territory of the Republic of Croatia or the Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration for investments made in the territory of the Arab Republique of Egypt […].”); Bosnia and Herzegovina-Egypt BIT (1998), Art 7(2) (“If these disputes cannot be settled in this way within six months from the date of the written notification mentioned in paragraph 1. The conflict shall be submitted, at the choice of the investors to: […] The Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration. […].”); Denmark-Egypt BIT (1999), Art 9(2)(c) (“If such dispute between an investor of one Contracting Party and the other Contracting Party continues to exist after a period of six months, investor shall be entitled to submit the case either to: […] arbitration under the Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration […].”); Egypt-Switzerland BIT (2010), Art 12(3) (“If within six months the investment dispute cannot be settled through the procedure of amical settlement and the investor is not satisfied with the outcome of the domestic administrative procedure, the investor may submit the dispute either to: […] the Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration […].”); Australia-Egypt BIT (2001), Art 13(2)(c)(ii) (“If the dispute in question cannot be resolved through consultations and negotiations either party to a dispute may: […] if both parties are not at that time party to the Convention [on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of other States], refer the dispute to […] the Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration.”); Egypt-Maurice BIT (2014), Art 10(4) (“If the investment dispute cannot be settled through the procedures of settlement referred to in paragraphs (1) and (2), within twelve months from the date of the written notification or neither party is interested in submitting the dispute to the courts of the Contracting Party in whose territory the investment has been made under paragraph (3), the Parties to the dispute may agree, through written consent, to submit it, either to: Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration […].”); Egypt - South Africa BIT (1998), Art. 7 (2) (c).
Mohamed Abdulmohsen Al Kharafi & Sons Co. v. Libya and others, Final Arbitral Award, 22 March 2013, para. 4-2 (“The rules of Arbitration of the Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration shall be applicable to the arbitral proceedings without being administered by Cairo Center, whereby the arbitration remains non-institutional or ad hoc arbitration.”); Malicorp Ltd v. the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Egyptian Holding Company for Aviation, Egyptian Airports Company, CRCICA Arbitration Case No. 382/2004, Award, 7 March 2006, para. 8 (“Article 21.3.3 [of the Concession Contract] provides that the applicable rules are CRCIA Rules ‘in force on the date of this Concession contract’, and ‘arbitration law is the Egyptian law’.”).
Raouf, M. A., New Rules of the Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (CRCICA), International Journal of Arab Arbitration, 2011, pp. 7 – 15.
Hafez, K., National Report for Egypt (2013 through 2015), in Bosman, L. (ed.), ICCA International Handbook on Commercial Arbitration, 2019, pp. 1 – 44.
Mouawad, C., and Digón, R. I., Modern and Competitive: The New CRCICA Rules, International Journal of Arab Arbitration, 2011, pp. 17 – 24.
Raouf, M. A., and Hussein, D., Chapter 3: The Cairo Regional Arbitration Centre, in Onyema, E., The Transformation of Arbitration in Africa: The Role of Arbitral Institutions, 2016, pp. 61 – 74.
Rashed, S., Arbitration within the Auspices of The Regional Centre of Cairo, Monsha’at Al-Ma‘aref, 1986 (in Arabic).