JUDGMENT OF THE SUPREME CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF EGYPT RENDERED ON 9 MAY, 2004 IN CASE No. 15 OF THE JUDICIAL YEAR 24 (The “El Motahidah v. Shell Case”) - Stockholm International Arbitration Review (SIAR) 2005 No. 3
JUDGMENT OF THE SUPREME CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF EGYPT RENDERED ON 9 MAY, 2004 IN CASE No. 15 OF THE JUDICIAL YEAR 24 (The “El Motahidah v. Shell Case”)
(1) Whether the Egyptian Arbitration Law violates the constitutional principle that a party is entitled to litigate on two levels by giving the court of appeal exclusive jurisdiction over actions for setting aside arbitral awards.
(2) Whether the Egyptian Arbitration Law violates the constitutional principle of equality by providing for disparate treatment of parties resorting to arbitration and those resorting to litigation.
(1) Designating the court of appeal as the forum for actions to annul arbitral awards rests upon objective considerations pertaining to the nature of the arbitration, including the need for resolution, as well as a desire to restrict any attempts to delay such resolution in order to satisfy the public interest in effective dispute resolution. It intends to guarantee confidence in arbitration and to respect the common will of the parties to submit their dispute to arbitration.
(2) The different treatment is based on objective considerations that justify it from a logical standpoint, aiming at realizing the public interest without violating the fundamental guaranties of litigation. It is therefore considered an accepted and justified difference whose adoption by the legislator does not violate the principle of equality before the law.
Claimant: El Motahidah Company for Trade and Contracting (Egypt)
Respondents: 1. The President of the Republic (Egypt)
2. The Prime Minister (Egypt)
3. The President of the Legislative Committee of the People’s Assembly (Egypt)