On 10 September 2014, Dr. Ismail Selim, Partner, Zulficar and Partners delivered a lecture entitled “International Public Policy in Commercial Arbitration”. Dr. Selim defined the notion of International Public Policy not only in Private International Law, but also and more specifically as a bar to enforcement of arbitral awards. It was noted that such notion designates the body of principles and rules recognized by a State, which, by their nature, may bar the recognition or enforcement of an arbitral award rendered in the context of international Commercial arbitration when recognition or enforcement of said award would entail their violation on account either of the procedure pursuant to which it was rendered (procedural international public policy) or of its contents (substantive international public policy).” The Lecturer clarified that such notion is adopted by the majority of states even though only few states explicitly adopt in their Arbitration Laws the term “International Public Policy”. Indeed, other states adopt such notion in their jurisprudence whether explicitly or by differentiating between “Public Policy” under Article V-2-b of the New York Convention from one side and mandatory rules from the other side.
Examples were given from the jurisprudence of numerous common law and civil law countries including Egypt. The lecture also involved an important differentiation between the notions of “International Public Policy” and “Transnational Public Policy” and explained the notion of “Lois de Police”. Dr. Selim concluded with an overview of two very recent decisions of the Egyptian Court of Cassation on Public Policy in Arbitration. The lecture was very well received from attendees representing many sectors.