New ICC Arbitration Rules 2017 Launched in Doha

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) launched the new Arbitration Rules 2017 on Wednesday 10th May at Rotana City Center Hotel in an event co-organized by the ICC Qatar (ICC Qatar)  and the ICC International Court of Arbitration and sponsored by Ghada M. Darwish Law Firm in the presence of  ICC representatives and number of arbitration specialists from Qatar and abroad.

The event was attended by the ICC Qatar Secretary General Remy Rowhani, the Qatar International Arbitration Center (QICCA) board member Dr. HE. Sheikh Thani bin Ali bin Saoud Al Thani and managing partner of Sultan Al-Abdulla and Partners  Sultan Al-Abdulla.

The amendments of the ICC Rules of Arbitration which entered into force from 1 March 2017  aim to increase the efficiency and transparency of ICC arbitrations.

In his opening speech, ICC Qatar Secretary General Remy Rowhani underscored the importance of the New Qatari Arbitration Law in fostering Qatar’s rapid economic growth and enhancing its position as a hub of arbitration.

He gave a presentation on the ICC, its activities in the international business community, particularly in the G20 and World Trade Organization. He called on business owners and companies to be members in ICC Qatar.

For her part, the Managing partner of Ghada M. Darwish Law Firm Ghada Darwish said that the Qatari legislator adopted a special policy and approach to arbitration as one of the alternative means of resolving disputes between individuals, in order to provide a viable solution to many points of contention on an array of matters and topics of arbitration.

She added: “ We are confident that the Qatari legislator would represent a significant breakthrough on the practical level, as it will complement the legislative structure supporting investment.”

Qatar attached great importance to arbitration for facilitating a business friendly environment and attracting foreign investments, she said, pointing out that the new Qatari Arbitration Law coincides with the release of the updated version of ICC Rules of Arbitration issued on February 22nd, 2017 and entered into force on March 1st , 2017.

She assured the interest of  Ghada M. Darwish Law Firm to participate in legal related activities, especially those that are related to arbitration.

The event included two panel discussions. The first panel discussed the amendments to the ICC Rules of Arbitration, while the second explored to what extent Qatar’s new arbitration law addresses remaining challenges in international arbitration including ICC proceedings.

Speakers during the two panels included Squire Patton Boggs’s Counsel Tarek Saad, Associate Dean of Outreach and Community Engagement, College of  Law, Qatar University, Dr. Yassin El Shazly, Managing partner of Ghada M. Darwish Law Firm Ghada Darwish, Deputy Secretary General ICC International Court of Arbitration Jose Ricardo Feris and Director for Easter Mediterranean, Middle East & Africa, ICC International Court of Arbitration Court of Arbitration, Partner, Houerbi Law Firm, Sami Houerbi.

The first panel discussion dealt with amendments to the ICC Rules of Arbitration that aim to further increase the efficiency and transparency of ICC arbitrations. It highlighted the expedited procedure rules for cases of lower value with a focus on features of the expedited procedure including substantive and procedural aspects.

The second panel headed by Sultan Al-Abdulla reviewed a working paper presented by Dr. Sheikh Thani Bin Ali Al Thani titled “An overview on the New Qatari Arbitration Law”.

Speakers of the second session demonstrated to what extent the new Qatar arbitration law would address the remaining challenges in international arbitration and particularly in ICC proceedings, especially in light of Qatar becoming one of the fastest growing arbitration jurisdictions in the region with Qatari parties increasingly opting for ICC arbitration.

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