On 2 October 2019, the CIArb Egypt Branch organized jointly with CRCICA a seminar titled “Unilateral Termination by the Government of its Contracts and the Consequences on International Arbitration – With a reference to the Prime Minister’s decree No. 1062 / 2019, establishing the Supreme Committee for Studying and Opining on International Arbitration cases”. The speaker was Prof. Dr. Abdel-Moneem Zamzam, Professor of Private International Law, Faculty of Law, Cairo University, and Attorney before the Court of Cassation. The seminar was moderated by Ambassador Mohamed Mustafa Kamal, Former Assistant to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Attorney at Law, MCIArb, and Member of the Egypt Branch Committee.
Prof. Dr. Zamzam focused on the alarming consequences of the unilateral termination by the government of its contracts resulting in increasing the unbearable compensations incurred by Egypt since the accession to ICSID in 1972. Two reasons were highlighted by Prof. Dr. Zamzam namely: the termination of investments’ contracts by unilateral acts of the state and the selection of inefficient legal counsels lacking the technical skills of conducting arbitrations. He concluded that a technical committee should be established for studying the state contracts and proposing the appropriate amicable ADR mechanisms maintaining the rights of the state.
110 professionals attended the Seminar from Egypt and Libya representing the following business sectors: construction, financial investment, banking, telecommunications, transportation, electricity, gas and petroleum. Other participants were from the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation and the Ministry of education as well as academics from Cairo University, Ain Shams University, and Alexandria University. Members of law firms, the Egyptian judiciary, and the European Union Delegation to Egypt were also among participants. Attendees showed keen interest in the subject and the speech was followed by lively discussions.