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HomeSéparateurFocusSéparateurEuropeSéparateurFranceSéparateurParticipation of the UIHJ in a Seminar on the Enforcement of Arbitral Awards in Arab Countries
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Participation of the UIHJ in a Seminar on the Enforcement of Arbitral Awards in Arab Countries

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The UIHJ Participated on June 19, 2012 at the Arab World Institute in Paris in a Seminar on the Enforcement of Arbitral Awards in Arab Countries Organized by the Centre for Mediation and Arbitration of the Franco-Arab Chamber of Commerce

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During the Opening of the Seminar
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Excessive Barriers
 
The Franco-Arab Chamber of Commerce (CCFA) was established in 1970. Its headquarters are in Paris (France). For the organizers of the seminar, the enforcement of arbitral awards is facing strict state rules and mechanisms, often unknown or ignored, starting with the referees themselves. The seminar aimed to understand this approach which differs from one state to another, and shed light on this important stage of dispute settlement to unveil legal, institutional or cultural blockages when they exist, in order to improve standards and to unify them. The seminar was therefore aiming at encompassing the situation in Arab countries. For greater clarity, the Arab countries, according to a linguistic criteria, having ratified the Washington Convention of 18 March 1965 and the New York Convention of 10 June 1958 are Algeria, Bahrain, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, Oman, Qatar, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Furaijah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain), and Yemen.
About 150 people gathered in the beautiful and large conference room of the Arab World Institute in Paris to listen to the speakers and discuss with them.
The UIHJ was invited to speak and was represented by its first secretary, Mathieu Chardon.
As an introduction to the conference, Mathias Audit, professor at the University of Paris West - Nanterre, acknowledged that the subject was hardly approached. "Getting an award is a good thing. When it is enforced, it is even better “he said. After him, Jacques Alexandre Genet, lawyer in Paris, regretted that too little is said of the enforcement phase of the arbitral award. He mentioned the famous Hornsby v. Greece case of the European Court of Human Rights on 19 March 1997 which recognised the right to the enforcement of a court decision within a reasonable time. He deplored the excessive and disproportionate barriers as regards the enforcement of arbitral awards.
The panel of speakers consisted of debt collection and enforcement professionals, as well as academics and lawyers.
The first part of the work was devoted to transnational aspects. The second part concerned national reports.
The speakers widely discussed issues relating to enforcement procedures: how to obtain them, what are the difficulties encountered during the exequatur phase, what is the impact of international public policy on the procedure? The negotiation phase was also discussed once the exequatur is obtained to try to convince the debtor to comply spontaneously with the decision.

A Trend Toward Openness
 
With regard to actual enforcement, the speakers agreed to recognize a limited experience in this field. Isabelle Hautot, legal director of the FT-Orange Group, said that obtaining the exequatur could even be the starting point of a fresh negotiation...
Mathieu Chardon, responsible for giving feedback in the Arab States on enforcement of arbitral awards in the Arab world, also expressed a lack of data regarding this matter. Among the reasons, the lack of statistics, the difficulties in obtaining the exequatur, or the specific issues relating to claims which are mostly very high, but also debtors who may qualify for immunity of enforcement or the economic position or policy making enforcement difficult.
Anyway, regarding enforcement itself, domestic provisions of the place of enforcement prevail, whether in Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon or the United Arab Emirates, the four entities having been chosen as examples. Regarding Lebanon, Fadi J. Moghaizel, Bar of Beirut, stressed that this this country is the only one in the world where banking secrecy is inviolable and where bank accounts are inaccessible, since 1953.
After a very fruitful morning, Patrice Mouchon, lawyer in Paris, president of the Centre for Mediation and Arbitration of the CCFA, said in his closing remarks that, despite difficulties and especially under the influence of the Arab Spring, the tendency is to openness, standards and unification.
The arbitration proceeding is a matter not yet very well-known even if it involves high stakes.
The seminar confirmed that the enforcement of enforceable arbitral awards remains a somehow impenetrable area that seems somewhat to escape the logic of civil enforcement procedures. However, an enforceable arbitral award remains a legally enforceable title. The judicial officers of the Arab countries should be able to play the leading role that is theirs, in accordance with their status.

For more information, this is the link to the Franco Arab Chamber of Commerce:

http://www.ccfranco-arabe.org/french/index.php
 
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