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The award

Requirements
What legal requirements are there for recognition of an award? Must reasons be given for the award? Does the award need to be reviewed by any other body?

In accordance with Article 43 of the Arbitration Act, the award must:

  • be issued in writing;
  • be signed by the majority of the arbitrators and set out the reasons for non-signature by the minority; and
  • set out:
    • the names of the parties and their addresses;
    • the names of the arbitrators, their nationalities and their titles;
    • the arbitration agreement;
    • a summary of the parties’ claims, testimonies and written evidence;
    • a dispositive section;
    • the date and place of its issuance; and
    • the reasons underlying the decision, unless otherwise agreed by the parties or if not required by the applicable law.

Timeframe for delivery
Are there any time limits on delivery of the award?

Article 45 of the Arbitration Act provides that the award must be issued by the date agreed by the parties. In the absence of an agreed date, the award must be issued within 12 months of the start of the proceedings. This period can be extended by the arbitral tribunal by a maximum of six months, unless the parties agree on a longer period. If the award is not issued within the time limit, any of the parties may bring the matter before the domestic court with jurisdiction pursuant to Article 9 of the Arbitration Act, which may extend the time limit or terminate the arbitral proceedings, in which case the parties would be entitled to bring their claims before the court which would have had jurisdiction absent an arbitration agreement.

The award must be notified to the parties within 30 days of the date of its issuance (Article 44 of the Arbitration Act).

Remedies
Does the law impose limits on the available remedies? Are some remedies not enforceable by the court?

The Arbitration Act does not regulate the available remedies. However, as with most civilian systems, some remedies such as punitive damages are likely to be considered contrary to public policy under Egyptian law.

What interim measures are available? Will local courts issue interim measures pending constitution of the tribunal?

Article 24 of the Arbitration Act provides that the parties may empower the arbitral tribunal to order any interim or conservatory measures that it deems necessary based on the nature of the dispute.

Article 14 of the Arbitration Act further provides that the domestic court may, on request by one of the parties, issue interim measures before or during the arbitral proceedings.

Interest
Can interest be awarded?

The Arbitration Act contains no provisions on interest; this matter is governed by the law applicable to the dispute.

At what rate?

See above.

Finality
Is the award final and binding?

Article 55 of the Arbitration Act provides that arbitral awards have res judicata effect and are enforceable. 

What if there are any mistakes?

Article 50 of the Arbitration Act provides that the arbitral tribunal may correct purely material typographical or arithmetical errors, either on its own initiative or on the request of one of the parties. The decision on a correction must be issued within 30 days of the date on which the award was issued or from the party’s request, as the case may be. This deadline may be extended by the arbitral tribunal if necessary. The correction decision must be issued in writing and notified to the parties within 30 days of its issuance. 

Can the parties exclude by agreement any right of appeal or other recourse that the law of your jurisdiction may provide?

Pursuant to the Arbitration Act, 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.

Appeal
What is the procedure for challenging awards?

Article 54 of the Arbitration Act provides that a setting-aside action must be brought within 90 days of the date on which the award was notified to the losing party. The setting-aside action must be brought before the domestic court with jurisdiction.

On what grounds can parties appeal an award?

The Arbitration Act does not provide for the possibility to appeal awards. Article 52 further provides that the appeal procedures set out in the Law on Civil Procedures do not apply to arbitral awards.

However, parties can seek the setting aside of an award. Article 53 of the Arbitration Act lists the grounds on which parties can base their setting-aside request:

“a) If there was no arbitration agreement, or if that agreement was void, voidable or its duration had elapsed;

b) If either party to the arbitration agreement was at the time of its conclusion fully or partially under incapacity according to the law governing its legal capacity;

c) If either party to the arbitration was unable to present its case either because it was not given proper notice of the appointment of an arbitrator or of the arbitral proceedings, or for any other reason beyond its control;

d) If the arbitral award failed to apply the law agreed upon by the parties to govern the subject-matter of the dispute;

e) If the composition of the arbitral tribunal or the appointment of the arbitrators was in conflict with the law or the parties' agreement;

f) If the arbitral award dealt with matters not falling within the scope of the arbitration agreement or exceeding the limits of this agreement. However, in the case where matters falling within the scope of the arbitration can be separated from the part of the award which contains matters not included within the scope of the arbitration, the nullity affects the latter parts only;

g) If there was a nullity in the arbitral award itself or in the arbitration procedures in a manner that affected the award.”

Article 53 further provides that the domestic court must set aside the award ex officio if it breaches Egyptian public policy.

Enforcement
What steps can be taken to enforce the award if there is a failure to comply?

Arbitral awards are enforced through an enforcement order to be issued by the applicable domestic court. Article 56 of the Arbitration Act provides that the president of the Cairo Court of Appeal (or any other court of appeal agreed by the parties) has jurisdiction to issue enforcement orders. 

Can awards be enforced in local courts?

See above.

How enforceable is the award internationally?

Awards are enforced internationally by application of the New York Convention, where applicable and pursuant to the law of each enforcement jurisdiction.

To what extent might a state or state entity successfully raise a defence of state or sovereign immunity at the enforcement stage?

Egyptian law recognises the international law rules on sovereign immunities, including sovereign immunity from enforcement.

Are there any other bases on which an award may be challenged, and if so, by what?

In addition to requests for correction and requests for setting aside, the parties may file a request for interpretation (Article 49 of the Arbitration Act) and/or a request for an additional arbitral award in respect of claims which were left unanswered by the arbitral tribunal (Article 51 of the Arbitration Act).

How enforceable are foreign arbitral awards in your jurisdiction?

The enforcement of foreign arbitral awards in Egypt is governed by the New York Convention, to which Egypt is a party.

Will an award that has been set aside by the courts in the seat of arbitration be enforced in your jurisdiction?

Egyptian law does not make provision for the recognition of awards that were set aside in the seat of arbitration.

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