In the ongoing effort to address the delay in the litigation process, Egypt has been witnessing the issuance of new laws and much-awaited amendments to local legislation. This article offers a brief overview of the highly welcomed ratification of Law No. 146 of 2019 that amends provisions related to Law No. 120 of 2008.
The new Law amends the Economic Court Law of 2008, which established eight Economic Courts all over Egypt since October 2008. These Courts have a jurisdiction over criminal and civil cases stemming from investment operations, consumer protection, commercial, and banking transactions. The new Law, which stipulates the establishment of an electronic platform for the filing of cases, among other updates, is a much welcomed and needed addition to the enforcement arsenal of brand owners.
Over the course of a little more than a decade, the Economic Courts have been an efficient and indispensable partner in resolving disputes compared to the backlogged Civil and Commercial Courts. By way of background, the judicial system in Egypt was infamous for having major delays in litigation procedures, often lasting for years on end. With the establishment of the Economic Courts in October 2008, Egypt aimed to overcome this problem and the new Law seems to be another step towards modernizing the practice with the inauguration of an electronic platform for the filing of cases. With these updates, Egypt is on its way to becoming a regional trendsetter in adopting an electronic litigation system that is expected to result in the resolution of disputes in a timely manner.
The new Law underscores the authorities’ intention to create a space for litigants to settle disputes amicably. In this regard, the Law introduces a new specialized Committee that will act as a mediator between both parties, investigate cases brought before the Economic Court, check evidence and documents, and assign hearing sessions. As the Law promotes mediation and conciliation before the case is referred to a bench judge, the parties concerned will have the option to refer their dispute to a judge within the newly-established Preparation and Conciliation Department instead of filing a case. Should the parties arrive at an agreement, a judge from the aforementioned department will assist in concluding the settlement agreement, which will be considered as a writ of execution.
We expect this update will result in an effective and efficient resolution of disputes in Egypt.
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