Experts in Oman welcome establishment of Centre for Commercial Arbitration
October 3, 2015 | 8:26 PM
by Hamood Al Breki

Muscat: Welcoming the government’s decision to establish a Centre for Commercial Arbitration (CAC), experts said it would reduce expenses and shorten the duration of litigation.

Mattar bin Hamed Al Breiki, a legal consultant, said, “Once the CAC is operational, the maximum duration of litigation will be six months. You can extend it by another six months, which, when compared with the several years it takes in other courts, is shorter. However, the parties may agree to a longer period.”

Arbitration, a form of alternative dispute resolution, is a technique aimed at resolving disputes outside the court.

Hamed Al Breiki said this will encourage investors and boost commercial exchange.

The CAC is in the final stages of preparation as regulations for Oman’s arbitration centre are expected to be implemented at the beginning of next year, following which the CAC will fall under the supervision of Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Oman has evaluated the regulations followed at arbitration centres located in countries in the region in order to benefit from their expertise.

Nasser Al Breiki, an arbitrator and legal consultant, explained that persons outside the legal field could also act as arbitrators. Arbitration is not specific to the legal field. “However, not many people are qualified to be arbitrators. I would say that people who are working in the legal field have more experience in arbitration. Besides, there are experienced arbitrators in the field of engineering and accountancy.”

Noting that it will be a challenge for the centre to choose efficient and experienced arbitrators, Nasser Al Breiki said, “It is important to include arbitrators with international experience in the centre.”

“I think CAC is very important, because I have some cases that are pending in the courts. Once the CAC is established it will solve the problem easily,” an Egyptian investor said.

Hamed Al Breiki said establishing the CAC in Oman would also boost foreign investors’ trust.

He said the centre would give foreign investors the confidence that they can have access to a quick, effective and just dispute resolution process outside the local courts in case a dispute arises.

Hamed Al Breiki also agreed that establishing the CAC in Oman would reduce the cost of litigation, and encourage foreign companies to invest.

They may be afraid to invest since they are ignorant of laws governing the Sultanate or they might fear partiality in the resolution of disputes if they have to go through the local judiciary, he pointed out.

He also reminded that the centre becoming operational will reduce the numbers of cases pending in other courts.

Once operational, the CAC Centre will be based in Muscat and branches of the centre might be opened in other governorates at a later stage. The centre will have an independent management and board of directors.

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