Round-table on new arbitration law held
26 Apr 2017 – 23:05
FROM LEFT: Dr Hissam Al Talhuni, Dr Ehab Elsonbaty and Claudine Helan during the meeting, yesterday. Pic: Baher Amin / The Peninsula
A round-table discussion focusing on liability of arbitrators and arbitrary institutions and immunity of arbitrators under the new Qatari arbitration law took place yesterday.
The aim of organising the one-day meeting is to highlight the positive aspects the new arbitration law and how Qatar could become attractive centre for arbitration in the region, said Rashid Al Saad, senior partner of Sharq Law Firm. Following issuance of the arbitration law (in last February) Qatar has emerged as a potential destination to compete and has a share in the regional and global market, he added.
Qatar is heading on the right track and the new law is expected to make it a hub of commercial arbitration in the region, and to achieve this aim there will be continuous updating and amendments in the rules and laws regulating arbitration aspects.
Qatar Financial Center is strong quality addition along the Qatar International Center for Conciliation and Arbitration (QICCA) will diversify and increase the options for arbitrators and customers in Qatar more than before, Al Saad outlined.
He added, another round-table in mid of May will discuss the selection of arbitrators in light of the provision of the new law, as such gathering afforded participants a wonderful opportunity to network and discuss important issues in commercial arbitration in light of the new law. Arab and International Arbitrators (AIA) gatherings round-table on liability of arbitrators and arbitral institutions under the new arbitration law discussed a paper presented by Dr Ehab Maher Elsonbaty, senior legal counsel at Qatar Investment Authority, entitled “overview on Arbitration in Qatar insight from the new arbitration law. In his paper Elsonbaty highlighted that article 11 of the New Arbitration Law imposes, arbitrators have been granted a general immunity with exception in cases where they conduct their functions in bad faith, collusion or negligence has been confirmed.
Arbitrators under the new law are required to observe the principles of impartiality and equality between the parties. Some of the participant considered the immunity to practitioners provide some comfort to arbitrators and foreign arbitrators and investors while some others thought that the Qatari law put arbitrator’s works under judiciary monitoring.
Participants also discussed cases arbitrators exposed to criminal sanctions in certain circumstances, appointing arbitrators whether they have to be from law firms and law specialist or from the business sector under tribunal.
Asked about what makes Qatar hub for arbitration in the region and advantages that Qatar enjoy to become hub of arbitration in the region Rashid Al Asaad pointed out that Qatar’s geographical location, high quality facilities and services and easy air transport and easy to access, in addition to well established legal system. Qatar is currently one of the most preferred destinations for business and implementing mega infrastructure projects including sport, education and other activities, he added.
Issues like the effect of misunderstanding the scope of the arbitrator’s liability on the use of arbitration and the future of arbitration in the region were also discussed.