Reed Smith In-depth

Key takeaways

  • The CRCICA Arbitration Rules 2024 modernise CRCICA’s offering, aligning the institution with international best practices in arbitration.
  • New provisions aim to handle complex disputes efficiently, clarifying processes like consolidation and joinder.
  • Mandated disclosure of third-party funding enhances transparency in proceedings, reflecting increased use of such funding.
  • Tribunals can now dismiss unmeritorious claims at an early stage, addressing efficiency and vexatious claims concerns.
  • Updated rules embrace technology for online filing and remote hearings, adapting to global digital trends and enhancing flexibility.
  • Emergency arbitrator and expedited arbitration rules provide swift dispute resolution options, addressing concerns about delays and ensuring timely relief in time-sensitive cases.

I.  Introduction

The Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (CRCICA) is the oldest arbitration institution in Africa and the MENA region. It is one of only two institutions on the Global Arbitration Review ‘White List’ of arbitration institutions for MENA and Africa.

Despite its prominence, CRCICA’s arbitration rules had not been updated for more than a decade and, consequently, its 2011 rules (2011 Rules) needed a refresh. CRCICA has achieved this with its revamped Arbitration Rules 2024 (2024 Rules). The 2024 Rules came into effect on 15 January 2024 and apply to arbitrations commenced on or after that date.

The 2024 Rules introduce or amend key provisions, including provisions relating to multi-contract arbitration, consolidation, the use of electronic communications, early dismissal of unmeritorious claims, remote hearings, and emergency arbitration. These changes help to bring CRCICA’s rules into line with international best practice, and enhance efficiency and transparency.

In this Client Alert, we examine the key changes introduced by the 2024 Rules and how these changes affect you.

II.  Key changes to the CRCICA Arbitration Rules

A. How do the 2024 Rules address multi-party and multi-contract scenarios?

The 2024 Rules introduce several new provisions catering for multi-contract and multi-party situations, improving efficiency in these scenarios.

(i) Consolidation

The 2024 Rules introduce a new provision regarding the consolidation of two or more arbitrations into a single arbitration (Article 50). Consolidation may be accepted provided that one or more of the following criteria is satisfied: (i) all parties must agree in writing; (ii) all claims must be made under the same arbitration agreements; and (iii) the arbitration agreements must be compatible and the disputes must arise in connection with the same legal relationship, or out of contracts consisting of a principal contract and one or more ancillary contracts, or out of the same transaction or series of transactions.