Keywords: Saudi Arabia, arbitral award,
UNCITRAL model law
Today, 9 July, Saudi Arabia, the largest economy in the Middle
East, takes a big step forward with its new Arbitration Law
consisting of 58 new articles. Broadly in line with the UNCITRAL
Model Law, it replaces its 1983 predecessor and brings Saudi Arabia
in line with other countries in the region. The key changes set out
below are significant improvements to arbitration in the
Court intervention axed
Parties to arbitrations no longer have to file their arbitration
agreement with the court so that it can supervise the arbitration
process. This should significantly speed up arbitrations.
Appointment of the tribunal
A detailed process now deals with the appointment of arbitrators
and any challenges. For three-arbitrator tribunals, the two
appointed arbitrators can now nominate a chairman, thereby avoiding
the need for court intervention.
Conflict of interest
Arbitrators must now tell the parties of any circumstances that
might create suspicion as to their independence and impartiality.
This will improve transparency and increase the credibility of
Time limit for the Award
An arbitral award must be issued within twelve months of the start
of the arbitration but the arbitral tribunal can extend this period
by a further six months and the parties can agree a longer
extension. This change further accelerates the arbitration process,
in contrast to the previous law, the main criticism of which was
the slow pace of arbitration.
Any challenge to an arbitral award must now be made within 60 days
of the award and only on narrow grounds that reflect the New York
Convention and the UNCITRAL Model Law. What has not changed,
however, is the fact that a court may not enforce an award, or part
of it, which conflicts with Shari'a law.
These changes are likely to increase both acceptance and use of
arbitration in Saudi Arabia by providing a more appropiate
arbitration process for resolving disputes.
Raid will be discussing the new law at a seminar on 12 July at
5.45pm on "International Arbitration in the Middle
East and Sub-Sahara Africa" at Mayer Brown's
offices at 201 Bishopsgate.
Mayer Brown is a global legal services provider
comprising legal practices that are separate entities (the
"Mayer Brown Practices"). The Mayer Brown Practices are:
Mayer Brown LLP and Mayer Brown Europe – Brussels LLP,
both limited liability partnerships established in Illinois USA;
Mayer Brown International LLP, a limited liability partnership
incorporated in England and Wales (authorized and regulated by the
Solicitors Regulation Authority and registered in England and Wales
number OC 303359); Mayer Brown, a SELAS established in France;
Mayer Brown JSM, a Hong Kong partnership and its associated
entities in Asia; and Tauil & Chequer Advogados, a Brazilian
law partnership with which Mayer Brown is associated. "Mayer
Brown" and the Mayer Brown logo are the trademarks of the
Mayer Brown Practices in their respective
Mayer Brown article provides information and comments on legal
issues and developments of interest. The foregoing is not a
comprehensive treatment of the subject matter covered and is not
intended to provide legal advice. Readers should seek specific
legal advice before taking any action with respect to the matters
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
A recent ruling of the Dubai Court of First Instance questions de novo the UAE courts’ compliance with their obligations under international enforcement instruments in the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards.
At present, the approach adopted by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) in regard to parties' rights to legal representation is that there is no absolute right to legal representation at any stage of the proceedings.
A discussion on the formulation of a central tool as a necessary condition in evaluating the validity and applicability of the "professional solution" provided via an expert opinion by an expert, and no less important by decision makers and those affected by them in court cases.
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”