Saudi Centre for Commercial Arbitration adopts new rules

The Saudi Centre for Commercial Arbitration (“SCCA”) has published its revised set of Arbitration Rules (the “Rules”) (effective from 1 May 2023) following an extensive review and international consultation process. The aim of the changes is to provide “first-class case administration services while offering the flexibility to meet clients’ evolving needs”. The SCCA has stated that the Rules have been developed in accordance with international best practices to promote the SCCA’s reliability as a venue for those seeking to resolve disputes outside of court.

Saudi Arabia evolving as an arbitration hub

Several countries in the Middle East have developed independent and fully functioning arbitration regimes. Dubai and Bahrain for instance. Nonetheless the SCCA’s changes signal a growing choice for parties in dispute in the region, beyond the historically favoured location of Dubai.
As competition between ADR institutions has increased across the Middle East, the SCCA has revised and improved its arbitration rules three times between 2016 and 2023. These most recent changes have however been the most significant, conforming to the latest international standards in a bid to highlight the SCCA’s consistency with globally eminent arbitral institutions.

Key changes

1. Establishment of the SCCA Court

A significant change in the Rules is the establishment of the SCCA Court, comprising fifteen highly experienced international arbitration practitioners and led by Jan Paulsson as President. The creation of the SCCA Court means that the…

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