Sharm El Sheikh V: The Role of State Courts in International Arbitration, 16-17 November, 2014

SHARM ELSHEIKH V followed several successive legal and judicial developments in the Arab world that have led to remarkable reforms with respect to the settlement of commercial and investment disputes in general and commercial arbitration in particular. A number of extremely interesting decisions have been rendered in most of the Arab states during the last two years. These decisions are worth of examination and scrutiny due to their important role in emphasizing the supportive, parallel and supervisory role of state courts in international commercial arbitration. It is undisputable that state courts play an important role to determine whether a particular place is convenient to be chosen as a seat for arbitration. The Conference aimed therefore to identify the salient judicial trends in the Arab world and to shed light over the latest judicial practices in the most significant seats of arbitration worldwide, including Europe (France, England, Switzerland, Sweden and Italy), Asia (Turkey), Africa (Sudan, Morocco and Tunisia), the United States and Latin America (Venezuela and Brazil). It attempted to study these trends by tackling the role of state courts during the four basic phases of the arbitration process starting from the arbitration agreement, the arbitral tribunal, the arbitration proceedings and ending with the arbitral award.

Through 6 working sessions, the agenda was tackled by almost 30 celebrated international figures from all continents around the globe. Prof. Dr. Ahmed El-Kosheri who was most recently granted the GAR's prestigious lifetime achievement award was the Keynote Speaker.

The Structural pattern of the agenda was based on the role of state courts during the four basic phases of the arbitration process, namely, the arbitration agreement, the arbitral tribunal, the arbitration proceedings and the arbitral award. Most recent, and most controversial, court decisions on arbitration were discussed by national judges and national courts' leading counsels in different jurisdictions as well as international arbitration practitioners all over the globe.
The conference provided floor for most recent arbitration issues. For the first time in the Arab World the new UNCITRAL Rules on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration was arrayed. Similarly, discussions tackled the new IBA Guidelines on Conflicts of Interests and the Use of Advance Waivers in ICC Arbitration.
The program also presented new, and controversial, concepts affecting or likely to affect the due process of arbitral procedures, such as the Academic immunity of Arbitrators and the role of the emergency arbitrators. For more details, please view the detailed report of the Conference in English and Arabic.

There was a total of 220 participants in attendance from 28 countries being Algeria, Austria, Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Sultanate of Oman, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, UAE, UK, USA, Tunisia, Turkey and Venezuela.