Saudi Center for Commercial Arbitration (SCCA) New Rules May 2023

On 1st May 2023, the Saudi Center for Commercial Arbitration (SCCA) published the revised SCCA Rules which are set to apply to all arbitrations filed with the SCCA forthwith. The 2023 New Rules replaces the 2016 edition of the SCCA Rules as well as the amendments and/or appendices integrated into the 2016 Rules. The 2023 SCCA Rules are a product of extensive drafting by the SCCA Rules Advisory as well as broad-based roundtable public consultations specifically in Riyadh, Abu-Dhabi, and Dubai

Some of the notable features of the 2023 SCCA Rules include the establishment of the SCCA Court, the expansion of the powers of the arbitral tribunal, the removal of references to Sharia law, the addition of new grounds for arbitrator challenges, a new mechanism for summary disposition of claims and defences, and new provisions regulating the consolidation of proceedings and cyber security. In addition, the 2023 Rules amend the provisions on representation and assistance, joinder, and emergency measures of protection.

On the establishment of the SCCA Court, the 2023 SCCA Rules borrow and follow in the footsteps of other major institutions such as the International Chamber of Commerce and the London Court of International Arbitration all of which are established professional and independent bodies with their primary role being to oversee the administration of arbitrations in their respective jurisdictions. Further, the expansion of the arbitral tribunal’s powers by the 2023 SCCA Rules underscores SCCA’s commitment to the highest standards of quality, effective, substantively, and procedurally sound case proceedings and/or management.Notably, the 2023 Rules do not revise the SCCA Mediation Rules, which were last amended in 2018.

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