Why Mediation at CRCICA

CRCICA is an independent non-profit international organisation. While located in Egypt, CRCICA is not affiliated or related to the Egyptian Government in any way.

The Centre was established in 1979 in Cairo under the auspices of the Asian African Legal Consultative Organization (“AALCO”), in pursuance of AALCO’s decision taken at the Doha Session in 1978 to establish regional centers for international commercial arbitration in Asia and Africa. Indeed, CRCICA is the oldest arbitration centre in Africa and the Middle East and was dubbed the “granddaddy” of arbitration in the region according to the Global Arbitration Review in 2016.

The Headquarters Agreement concluded between AALCO and the Egyptian Government in 1987 recognises CRCICA’s status as an international organization. The Centre, its directors and its members enjoy all the necessary privileges and immunities ensuring its independent functioning.

The institutional composition of CRCICA reflects its nature as an international and regional organisation, and its scope encompassing Asia and Africa as well as the rest of the world.

  • The Board of Trustees (BoT), oversees the Centre’s general policy and its future plans as well as reviews its caseload, financial statements and performance. It is chaired by Dr Nabil Elaraby, supported by two vice-chairmen from Egypt and Saudi Arabia and 21 other eminent members from Bahrain, Cameroon, Chile, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Kuwait, Lebanon, Nigeria, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Spain.
  • The Advisory Committee (AC), includes African, Asian and European specialists and experts. At present, it is composed of 15 members including arbitration and international specialists from Chile, China, Egypt, France, Iraq, Lebanon, Nigeria, the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Switzerland. The AC is consulted on the requests not to proceed submitted under Article 6 of the CRCICA Arbitration Rules and to decide on the challenge and removal of arbitrators.

CRCICA is not financed by any entity and is fully self-sustained.

The Mediation Rules were subsequently revised in 2001 with the inauguration of the Mediation and ADR Centre as a CRCICA branch. The second revision took place in 2013 as part of a regional mediation program in partnership with the International Finance Corporation (member of the World Bank Group), in collaboration with the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (UK) and a distinguished working group of practitioners.

CRCICA’s Mediation Rules reflect modern international practices by:

  • Providing Simple and Flexible Framework: The CRCICA Mediation Rules (the Rules) consist of 18 articles drafted in simple language, with a wide of scope of application covering all forms of amicable dispute resolution regardless of the term used by the parties, with the possibility for the parties to adjust the Rules in consultation with CRCICA and the mediator. The Rules do not require the existence of a prior mediation agreement and offer a flexible framework to initiate mediation under CRCICA Rules. 
  • Offering Fundamental Guarantees:
    • Parties’ empowerment and self-determination throughout the mediation process, where:
      • The parties can replace the mediator at any time (Article 6(4) of the Rules);
      • The parties are involved in the design of the mediation process (Article 8(3) of the Rules);
      • The mediator is prohibited from imposing a settlement on the parties (Article 8(4) of the Rules);
      • Any party can withdraw from mediation at any time (Article 9(1) of the Rules).
    • Impartiality and independence of mediators: Prospective mediators must provide CRCICA with a statement of impartiality and independence disclosing any facts or circumstances that may call into question their impartiality, independence or be perceived to create a conflict of interest. (Article 6(1) of the Rules) The obligation of independence and impartiality and to notify the parties of any changes to such obligation is ongoing throughout the mediation process. (Article 6(2) of the Rules)
    • A framework for efficient and fair conduct of the process: The mediator is bound by procedural fairness and must ensure that the parties have opportunity to seek legal or other advice before finalizing any resolution. (Article 8(2) of the Rules) In case of non-settlement, the mediator may adjourn the mediation in order to allow the parties to consider specific proposals or get more information that maybe conducive to settlement; the mediation will then reconvene with the agreement of the parties. (Article 9(2) of the Rules) The mediator can terminate the mediation if the mediator determines that settlement cannot be reached (Article 9(1)(b) of the Rules).
  • Robust confidentiality framework
    • All participants in mediation, including CRCICA, are bound to keep confidential all documents, information, materials, settlement proposals and settlement terms except if parties agree otherwise, or in case disclosure is required by a legal duty or to enforce the settlement agreement (Article 11(1) of the Rules). As such information presented in mediation may not be produced as evidence or disclosed in a court of law, mediation or any other formal or informal processes, except if required by law (Article 11(2) of the Rules).
    • In private sessions, the mediator cannot disclose any information received to the other party except if specifically authorized to do so (Article 11(3) of the Rules).
    • The parties are prohibited to call the mediator, or CRCICA or its employees or any participant in mediation (such as an expert or consultant) to present evidence or testify in other proceedings in relation to mediation. Nor will the mediator, any employee of the Centre or any person appointed in the mediation act or agree to act as a witness, expert, mediator or consultant in any such process (Article 12 of the Rules).

CRCICA is one of the few, if not the only, organisation that does not charge registration fees as part of its commitment to encourage amicable dispute resolution.

Please click here to read more on the Costs of Mediation

Mediation can be requested at any time during the arbitral proceedings with the possibility of converting the settlement agreement into a consent award which grants it the power of an executory writ.

For more information on the Practice note on arb-med-arb, please click here

CRCICA’s Panel of Mediators includes experienced accredited mediators with various professional backgrounds, which allows the parties a wide range of freedom in the selection of their mediators or neutrals according to the nature of the dispute. While parties are not obliged to appoint their mediators or neutrals from amongst this Panel, the Centre is bound to appoint from amongst this Panel when exercising its role as an appointing authority under the Rules

One of the main advantages to users of administering a mediation case via CRCICA is the selection of highly experienced counsels along with a highly educated new generation of case managers, who are able to administer cases in Arabic, English and French languages. All case managers have a thorough understanding of mediation and can respond to parties’ queries, namely regarding hybrid dispute resolution processes.

CRCICA assistance to the parties includes:

  • Proposing mediators for parties’ selection;
  • Appointing mediators if so requested by the parties or if parties are unable to agree on the selection of a mediator;
  • Determining the costs of mediation;
  • Providing state of the art facilities for the process; and
  • Terminating the process in case of non-payment of the fees. 

CRCICA had a consistent mediation and conciliation caseload since the launch of CRCICA’s mediation and conciliation rules. The 2013 Mediation Rules witnessed the registration of 20+ mediation cases; a significant number in the absence of a mediation law or judicial incentives for the parties to use mediation.

CRCICA provides Hearing Centre services for cases registered at CRCICA and elsewhere, enabling users to benefit from its State-of-the-Art facilities. CRCICAʼs high-tech international hearing centre enables the best use of digital facilities for working remotely. CRCICA’s high-tech hearing facility is equipped with a premier video conferencing system (Polycom HDX) and interactive meeting room systems are installed to ensure high impact visual experiences and realistic meeting environments. Such video conferencing system can accommodate a remote or virtual hearing connected to the cloud and conducting it using online platforms, which can be connected up to the maximum number of persons allowed to connect remotely via such platform. By virtue of these technologies and the flexible rules of the CRCICA, hearings and meetings of tribunals are conducted virtually, without undue delay of arbitration proceedings under the current COVID-19 challenges.

Click here to view more on CRCICA’s Hearing Centre

As part of its partnership with International Finance Corporation (member of the World Bank Group), CRCICA received license to use first-class mediation training program that follows international standards in mediation training curriculum in relation to content (theory, role plays and exercises), number of hours and delivery mode, with the aim of accrediting successful participants as mediators. The training material has been further updated and localized through regional experts to cater for the updates in the mediation field and tailor it for the MENA region requirements according to emerging practices. CRCICA trainers received master training through the Center for Effective Dispute Resolution – United Kingdom and some have been approved by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators as Mediation Trainers (Module 1).

The training is delivered in three phases; only the successful completion of the three phases leads to accreditation:

  • Foundational: Two-day training which can be a standalone training.
  • Mediator Skills: Four days in-depth training focusing on negotiation styles, difficult topics in mediation and two-day coaching where participants simulate the mediator role in different phases of mediation and receive detailed feedback on their performance.
  • Accreditation: Two-day role plays where participants simulate the role of mediators in different phases of mediation

CRCICA team trained 41 participants from different backgrounds on the full accredited mediation training, covering business people, communication specialists, negotiators, lawyers, engineers and architects from different backgrounds such as oil & gas, finance, architect, consulting companies for participants from across Egypt. In addition to delivering short mediation trainings in Cairo and Alexandria.