On 26 May 2021, CIArb Egypt Branch and CIArb London Branch organized for the first time, in cooperation with CRCICA, their first joint webinar titled “Procedural Paranoia in International Arbitration: Is the Vaccine in Sight or Shall We Expect the Disease to Spread Further?” The panel of speakers included Dr. Sally El Sawah, Founding Partner & Principal of El Sawah Law (Paris) and Dr. Rémy Gerbay, Partner, MoloLamken LLP. The moderators were Dr. Ismail Selim, Director of CRCICA and Vice-Chair of the CIArb Egypt branch, in representation of the Egypt Branch, and Mr. Jean-François Le Gal, Partner at Pinsent Masons LLP, in representation of the London Branch. Dr. Selim delivered an inaugural speech introducing the Egypt Branch, its establishment in 1999 as the first gateway to CIArb education in the region at that time, its services and activities.
The webinar was a lively debate; the speakers shared their views, forecasts, war stories, and suggestions on ways to cure the due process paranoia issue. Some of the views expressed by panel members included “the need for arbitrators to be robust and show courage”. Other views included the idea that further “soft law-type codification of acceptable practices”, similarly to what has been seen recently in relation to virtual hearings.
The webinar also included polls enabling the audience to express their views.
At the end of the webinar, Mr. Ben Giaretta, Chair of the CIArb London Branch, concluded that due process paranoia will remain in arbitration and we have to find ways to deal and respond to it as we currently do with covid 19. He also expressed his wish for more future collaboration and joint events organized by both Egypt and London branches of the CIArb.
The webinar was attended by 116 participants from Egypt, the UK, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Greece, Guyana, India, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Morocco, Netherlands, Nigeria, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, and the USA.