CSC sets up center for commercial arbitration
The Saudi Center for Commercial Arbitration (SCCA) has been formed by the Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC) with a board of nine directors, the council announced here on Tuesday.
The board will handle local and international commercial and civil disputes.
CSC President Abdul Rahman Al-Zamil said the SCCA board of directors was formed in consultation with the ministries of Justice and Commerce and Industry and also in coordination with the governor of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA).
Its jurisdiction will not cover disputes concerning administrative, personal and criminal cases and where reconciliation is not permissible.
The establishment of Saudi Arabia’s first commercial arbitration center is considered a milestone for the development of arbitration in the Kingdom, by far the largest economy in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
Arbitration has historically been under utilized as a method of dispute resolution in Saudi Arabia.
However, several legislative developments over the last two years, including a new arbitration and enforcement law, both enforced through royal decree, have given impetus to the use of arbitration.
Another major step was taken on Apr. 14, when the Council of Ministers issued a resolution establishing the Saudi Center for Commercial Arbitration.
The center will be headquartered in the capital, Riyadh, although the resolution envisages the possibility of branches being established in other parts of the Kingdom and outside Saudi Arabia.
According to the ministerial directive, the chairman of the board must have at least 10 years experience in the private sector and members five years experience, in addition to not having previously occupied any government post or job. The board will approve the center’s regulations and prepare a list of arbitrators.
The center will have branches inside and outside the Kingdom.
The center would represent the Kingdom in the field of commercial arbitration domestically and internationally in coordination with the Ministry of Justice. It would have a fund to provide arbitration aid.
The new board is expected to promulgate a set of arbitral rules, put together a list of arbitrators from which parties utilizing the center may choose and produce guidelines to determine the fees and expenses of arbitrators appointed pursuant to the rules.
The board of directors would include Mohammed Abdullah Al-Jandan, chairman, Mohammed Bin Khasheim, Sultan Azaahim, Dr. Khazan Al-Shibl, Fahd Al-Qassim, Majeed Al-Hakeel, Mohammed Saud Al-Hossaimi, Usuf Bin Kalawi and Nabeel Al-Mansoor legal adviser.
Al-Zamil said the center would help local and foreign businessmen to invest freely with confidence.
“This will help local and international companies protect their interests in their business ventures in the Kingdom,” Zamil said.
He said the tenure of the board of directors would be three years and that they would be empowered to exercise arbitration both inside and outside the Kingdom on commercial disputes. Al-Zamil hoped that the presence of the new center would boost the economic development of the country.