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About Centre
About Centre
GCC Commercial Arbitration Centre
Their Majesties and Highnesses GCC leaders (GCC Supreme Council) approved the establishment of the GCC Commercial Arbitration Centre and the Centre's Constitution at the 14th Summit Conference held in Riyadh between 20-22nd December, 1993 (7-9th Rajab, 1414 Hijra). They adopted this decision following the review of the GCC Secretariat's memorandum concerning the proposed Centre and the recommendation of the GCC Commercial Co-operation Committee's 19th meeting held in Abu Dhabi in September, 1993. The move also received the blessings of the GCC Justice Ministers at their 5th meeting held in September, 1993 and the recommendation of the GCC Financial & Economic Co-operation Committee and the Ministerial Council at its 49th Session (Preparatory Session).

On 16th November, 1994 the Arbitration Procedure Regulation was approved by the Commercial Co-operation Committee in the city of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. A number of amendments were made to the Regulation and ratified by the Commercial Co-operation Committee at the city of Al Ain, UAE on 5th October, 1999.
About the Centre
The Centre is considered as a regional arbitration authority which is independent from the six GCC member states, including the host state. It has an independent legal entity and enjoys administrative, financial and technical independence. Meanwhile, it is considered as one of the GCC organs.
Jurisdiction
The Centre has the jurisdiction to hear trade and business disputes between GCC nationals or between them and other nationals, including natural and corporate persons. It has the competence to hear trade disputes that arise from implementing the provisions of the GCC Economic Agreement and resolutions issued for its implementation if the two parties agree in writing, in their contract or in a subsequent agreement, that arbitration shall be conducted by the Centre.
Headquarters
The Centre is based in the Kingdom of Bahrain since the launch of its operations in March 1995. Owing to the Centre's international status as an independent regional institution that enjoys immunity, it is not bound by Bahrain's legal system considering that its presence in the country's territory is merely a physical presence. An award handed down by the Centre is not to be considered issued by the territory of the Kingdom of Bahrain. Even though it is considered as the Centre's host country, it is not considered as a legal host nation in respect of the arbitration that is conducted by the Centre, because it is not affiliated to the Kingdom's national legal system.
Centre's Bye-law
The Centre's Bye-law has a special legal nature that cannot be compared with nor viewed as analogous to any other statute for the following reasons:
01
It was adopted by a resolution of the GCC Supreme Council at its 14th Session held in Riyadh on 22nd December, 1993 at which legal experts from the GCC states were instructed to prepare the Arbitration Procedure Regulation and the Commercial Co-operation Committee was authorized to approve it. Both the Bye-law and the Regulation were approved by the six member states' sovereign legislative tools.
02
The Arabian Gulf Co-operation Council is a regional organization and the Supreme Council is the GCC's highest authority.
03
The Centre's Bye-law and Regulation are not considered as regional arbitration rules since they derive their status from a multilateral sovereign source which is high above the applicable laws in the GCC states, hence they should not be treated on the same level.

Awards' Enforceability
The Centre's awards or any of its procedures are not subject to review whether by way of challenge or through taking legal action seeking their invalidation by any judicial authority in any of the GCC member state or any non-member state. This makes enforcing its awards much faster. The lawmaker outlines the role of the competent judicial authority in the state in which enforcement of the award is sought by merely annotating it with the execution format. However, should any of the disputing parties file a petition with the latter's authority for invalidation of the award for any of the reasons set forth in Article 36 of the Arbitration Procedure Regulation, its role will be limited to confirming the validity of such reason. If it is found to be a valid reason, it can only refuse the enforcement of the arbitrators' award.
Prerogatives and Immunities
The GCC Commercial Arbitration Centre's Board Chairman, members, Secretary General, Arbitration Board members and the secretariat staff members enjoy the following immunities:
01
Immunity against any legal action in the course of carrying out their job duties.
02
Immunities and prerogatives enjoyed by members of the diplomatic corps.
The Centre, all its funds and properties enjoy immunity against any legal or administrative actions. The Centre's documents, papers and archives enjoy immunity against any action of any kind. Likewise, the Centre, its properties, resources and financial transactions are exempt from all kinds of taxes and customs duties.
Centre's Finances
The Centre's Board of Directors has adopted the principle of financing its annual budget from its own resources. Since the start of the financial year 2011 the Centre has financed its operations and projects through its own revenues.
Dar Al-Karar
According to a resolution adopted on 15th August, 2012, the Board of Directors approved a proposal adopting "Dar Al-Karar" as the Centre's official logo.
Board of Directors and Secretary General
The Centre's Board of Directors comprises six members representing the GCC member states. Chairmanship of the Board takes place in rotation in the same manner followed in the GCC meetings. The Secretary General must be a GCC national who is appointed by the Board of Directors.
Honorary Chairman
During its 54th meeting held in Dubai on Thursday 6th December, 2012, the Centre's Board Chairman unanimously elected HRH Prince Dr. Bandar bin Salman bin Mohamed Al Saud, Advisor to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and Chairman of the Saudi Arbitration Team to become the Centre's Honorary Chairman.

HRH Prince Bandar is a well-known figure in the Saudi, Gulf, Pan-Arab and European arbitration community. He is indeed a strong advocate of arbitration as he heads the Saudi arbitration team and a supporter of the judiciary and legal profession in Saudi Arabia. He is actively involved in the training of judges overseas. The Gulf arbitration system has enjoyed the support of His Royal Highness at local, regional and international conferences. He contributed to the creation and chartering of the Arab International Arbitration Federation and ratifying its Constitution at the Tunisia Conference held from 28-29th April, 2000. This prominent figure is actively involved in European arbitration through his membership of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in the Hague and membership of the Paris-based ICC Arbitration Court as a representative of Saudi Arabia.
Training at the Centre
The Centre's training philosophy stems from an objective vision seeking to make use of the potentials of a qualified generation of university graduates to acquire legal and arbitration knowledge, skills and tools. Such qualification will enable them to assume the responsibility of settling trade, financial and investment disputes through arbitration with a view to sustaining the process of trade, financial and investment development. The ultimate aim of such training is to equip the trainees with an understanding of the concept, essence, nature and development of arbitration in legal thought.

This vision is based upon the principle of positive encouragement and participation designed to promote individual or group research and investigation. In other words, it is an initiative aimed at furthering research, study and creative thinking. The whole process involves acceptance of different views and ideas by combining between theoretical and practical thought, enlightened approach and enriching academic and practical experience.

Since the launch of its operations in March 1995, the Centre has shown continuous concern with developing the arbitrators' qualification programme as the core annual activity in its training agenda. This programme attracts considerable demand from GCC chambers of commerce and industry, universities and legal and judicial institutions. Other events include convening an annual conference of attorneys and arbitrators and the Annual Arbitration Conference in Salalah, Sultanate of Oman.
GCC Commercial Arbitration Centre
Their Majesties and Highnesses GCC leaders (GCC Supreme Council) approved the establishment of the GCC Commercial Arbitration Centre and the Centre's Constitution at the 14th Summit Conference held in Riyadh between 20-22nd December, 1993 (7-9th Rajab, 1414 Hijra). They adopted this decision following the review of the GCC Secretariat's memorandum concerning the proposed Centre and the recommendation of the GCC Commercial Co-operation Committee's 19th meeting held in Abu Dhabi in September, 1993. The move also received the blessings of the GCC Justice Ministers at their 5th meeting held in September, 1993 and the recommendation of the GCC Financial & Economic Co-operation Committee and the Ministerial Council at its 49th Session (Preparatory Session).

On 16th November, 1994 the Arbitration Procedure Regulation was approved by the Commercial Co-operation Committee in the city of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. A number of amendments were made to the Regulation and ratified by the Commercial Co-operation Committee at the city of Al Ain, UAE on 5th October, 1999.
About the Centre
The Centre is considered as a regional arbitration authority which is independent from the six GCC member states, including the host state. It has an independent legal entity and enjoys administrative, financial and technical independence. Meanwhile, it is considered as one of the GCC organs.
Jurisdiction
The Centre has the jurisdiction to hear trade and business disputes between GCC nationals or between them and other nationals, including natural and corporate persons. It has the competence to hear trade disputes that arise from implementing the provisions of the GCC Economic Agreement and resolutions issued for its implementation if the two parties agree in writing, in their contract or in a subsequent agreement, that arbitration shall be conducted by the Centre.
Headquarters
The Centre is based in the Kingdom of Bahrain since the launch of its operations in March 1995. Owing to the Centre's international status as an independent regional institution that enjoys immunity, it is not bound by Bahrain's legal system considering that its presence in the country's territory is merely a physical presence. An award handed down by the Centre is not to be considered issued by the territory of the Kingdom of Bahrain. Even though it is considered as the Centre's host country, it is not considered as a legal host nation in respect of the arbitration that is conducted by the Centre, because it is not affiliated to the Kingdom's national legal system.
Centre's Bye-law
The Centre's Bye-law has a special legal nature that cannot be compared with nor viewed as analogous to any other statute for the following reasons:
01
It was adopted by a resolution of the GCC Supreme Council at its 14th Session held in Riyadh on 22nd December, 1993 at which legal experts from the GCC states were instructed to prepare the Arbitration Procedure Regulation and the Commercial Co-operation Committee was authorized to approve it. Both the Bye-law and the Regulation were approved by the six member states' sovereign legislative tools.
02
The Arabian Gulf Co-operation Council is a regional organization and the Supreme Council is the GCC's highest authority.
03
The Centre's Bye-law and Regulation are not considered as regional arbitration rules since they derive their status from a multilateral sovereign source which is high above the applicable laws in the GCC states, hence they should not be treated on the same level.

Awards' Enforceability
The Centre's awards or any of its procedures are not subject to review whether by way of challenge or through taking legal action seeking their invalidation by any judicial authority in any of the GCC member state or any non-member state. This makes enforcing its awards much faster. The lawmaker outlines the role of the competent judicial authority in the state in which enforcement of the award is sought by merely annotating it with the execution format. However, should any of the disputing parties file a petition with the latter's authority for invalidation of the award for any of the reasons set forth in Article 36 of the Arbitration Procedure Regulation, its role will be limited to confirming the validity of such reason. If it is found to be a valid reason, it can only refuse the enforcement of the arbitrators' award.
Prerogatives and Immunities
The GCC Commercial Arbitration Centre's Board Chairman, members, Secretary General, Arbitration Board members and the secretariat staff members enjoy the following immunities:
01
Immunity against any legal action in the course of carrying out their job duties.
02
Immunities and prerogatives enjoyed by members of the diplomatic corps.
The Centre, all its funds and properties enjoy immunity against any legal or administrative actions. The Centre's documents, papers and archives enjoy immunity against any action of any kind. Likewise, the Centre, its properties, resources and financial transactions are exempt from all kinds of taxes and customs duties.
Centre's Finances
The Centre's Board of Directors has adopted the principle of financing its annual budget from its own resources. Since the start of the financial year 2011 the Centre has financed its operations and projects through its own revenues.
Dar Al-Karar
According to a resolution adopted on 15th August, 2012, the Board of Directors approved a proposal adopting "Dar Al-Karar" as the Centre's official logo.
Board of Directors and Secretary General
The Centre's Board of Directors comprises six members representing the GCC member states. Chairmanship of the Board takes place in rotation in the same manner followed in the GCC meetings. The Secretary General must be a GCC national who is appointed by the Board of Directors.
Honorary Chairman
During its 54th meeting held in Dubai on Thursday 6th December, 2012, the Centre's Board Chairman unanimously elected HRH Prince Dr. Bandar bin Salman bin Mohamed Al Saud, Advisor to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and Chairman of the Saudi Arbitration Team to become the Centre's Honorary Chairman.

HRH Prince Bandar is a well-known figure in the Saudi, Gulf, Pan-Arab and European arbitration community. He is indeed a strong advocate of arbitration as he heads the Saudi arbitration team and a supporter of the judiciary and legal profession in Saudi Arabia. He is actively involved in the training of judges overseas. The Gulf arbitration system has enjoyed the support of His Royal Highness at local, regional and international conferences. He contributed to the creation and chartering of the Arab International Arbitration Federation and ratifying its Constitution at the Tunisia Conference held from 28-29th April, 2000. This prominent figure is actively involved in European arbitration through his membership of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in the Hague and membership of the Paris-based ICC Arbitration Court as a representative of Saudi Arabia.
Training at the Centre
The Centre's training philosophy stems from an objective vision seeking to make use of the potentials of a qualified generation of university graduates to acquire legal and arbitration knowledge, skills and tools. Such qualification will enable them to assume the responsibility of settling trade, financial and investment disputes through arbitration with a view to sustaining the process of trade, financial and investment development. The ultimate aim of such training is to equip the trainees with an understanding of the concept, essence, nature and development of arbitration in legal thought.

This vision is based upon the principle of positive encouragement and participation designed to promote individual or group research and investigation. In other words, it is an initiative aimed at furthering research, study and creative thinking. The whole process involves acceptance of different views and ideas by combining between theoretical and practical thought, enlightened approach and enriching academic and practical experience.

Since the launch of its operations in March 1995, the Centre has shown continuous concern with developing the arbitrators' qualification programme as the core annual activity in its training agenda. This programme attracts considerable demand from GCC chambers of commerce and industry, universities and legal and judicial institutions. Other events include convening an annual conference of attorneys and arbitrators and the Annual Arbitration Conference in Salalah, Sultanate of Oman.