Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (CRCICA)
The Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (CRCICA) is an independent non-profit international organisation established in 1979 under the auspices of the Asian African Legal Consultative Organisation (AALCO, comprised of 47 member states across Asia and Africa), in performance of AALCO’s decision, made at the Doha Session in 1978, to establish regional centres for international commercial arbitration in Africa and Asia, seeking to promote international commercial arbitration in the Afro-Asian area.
CRCICA provides a system of dispute settlement for parties engaged in trade, commerce and investment. It provides case management services and administers international, regional and domestic arbitrations and other alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms according to the CRCICA Rules, which include arbitration, mediation and dispute board rules.
CRCICA also provides administrative and technical assistance to parties involved in ad hoc arbitrations as well as high-tech hearings rooms to parties involved in other institutional proceedings under various rules such as International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) and Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) rules.
Recognised the status as an international organisation through the Headquarters Agreement concluded between AALCO and the Egyptian Government in 1987, and awarded all its associated privileges and immunities, CRCICA relies on a robust organisational framework and governance, with an international Board of Trustees at the head of the structure, appointed in consultation with AALCO from amongst eminent African and Asian personalities specialised in the fields of international arbitration, law, business, trade, investment and international relations, an Advisory Committee, comprised of eminent Afro-Asian members of the Board of Trustees, and other personalities specialised in the fields of international arbitration and trade, and its Director and Deputy Director, who lead, assisted by Legal Advisors and Counsel, the following departments operated by CRCICA: Dispute Management; Conferences, Training and External Relations; Financials; Human Resources and Administrative Department; and Communications and Information Technology.
CRCICA has operated continuously in Egypt as an international arbitration centre, enjoying full financial autonomy, with a firmly stable financial position. Today, CRCICA stands as Egypt’s premier arbitral institution, a leading arbitral institution in the Middle East and in Africa, and ranks globally among prominent arbitral institutions – as a marked contender for the first choice of institution in Africa and the Middle East.
CRCICA is an arbitral institution, which operates in furtherance of the following objectives:
- Providing effective dispute resolution solutions to its users;
- Enabling access to a cost-effective arbitral process by offering case management and hearing services according to best arbitration practice;
- Promoting arbitration and ADR culture as preferred dispute resolution mechanisms;
- Advancing the understanding of arbitration and other ADR mechanisms within the Afro-Asian region;
- Promoting arbitration and other ADR techniques in the Afro-Asian area through the organisation of international conferences and seminars, as well as the publication of researches serving both the legal and business communities;
- Contributing to enriching the progress of the economic development scheme in the African and Asian countries;
- Contributing to improving the investment climate through cost-effective settlement of trade and investment disputes;
- Facilitating the exchange of knowledge in relation to the fields of arbitration and ADR through organising training courses, workshops and conferences; and
- Supporting the development of legal education to enhance law students’ skills and knowledge in the field of arbitration and ADR.
After more than 40 years of operation, CRCICA has administered over 1,600 arbitration cases, cementing its status as a major arbitration centre in the MENA region and in Africa. Its arbitral awards are regularly published by a number of publications, including Kluwer Arbitration, and recently, the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA) Yearbook Commercial Arbitration 2021.
Arbitration under CRCICA Arbitration Rules is provided for in many bilateral investment treaties (BITs) concluded between Egypt and European parties (including, for instance, the 2001 Egyptian–Austrian BIT) or between countries from the Middle East and Africa (including, for instance, BITs between Egypt and the UAE, Mauritius, Oman, Kuwait, Syria and Lebanon), but also, in BITs where Egypt is not a party, such as the BIT between Libya and Morocco.
TO SUM UP
CRCICA was recognised in June 2022 by the African Development Bank (AfDB) in a Report prepared by LALIVE “as one of the best arbitration centres in the African continent and elsewhere” that "can readily be recommended for use by parties from both the African continent and elsewhere” and "remains one of the best arbitration centres across the African continent", reiterating on its conclusion of a 2014 Report, whereby the AfDB stated that "six years later, we stand by that assessment".
The Global Arbitration Review (GAR) also considers CRCICA a leading regional arbitration service provider, and of international arbitration news and community intelligence, with a pioneering status in the Middle East and on the African continent. In its inaugural Guide to Regional Arbitration 2013, GAR named CRCICA as a top arbitration centre in the Middle East and North Africa. Since then, GAR has continually recognised CRCICA in its list of the best institutions across the Middle East and Africa, and awarded CRCICA the award for "regional institution that most impressed" in 2019. In its latest edition of GAR’s Guide to Regional Arbitration 2021, CRCICA remains the only arbitral institution located in Africa on the White List and is one of two institutions located in the Middle East on that list, the other being the DIFC-LCIA, established in 2008.
Awarded "African Institution of the Year” and “Diversity Champion”, while being shortlisted in the category of “Innovation in Arbitration” in the African Arbitration Association (AfAA) 2020 Awards, and with its Director elected President of the International Federation of International Commercial Arbitration Institutions (IFCAI) in 2022, CRCICA remains a leader of the international commercial arbitration scene in the Afro-Asian MENA Region.