Amending Some Provisions of the Law Establishing Economic Courts

Promulgated by Law No. 120 of the year 2008. In the name of the People, The President of the Republic, The House of Representatives decreed the Law, the text of which is set out below, and it is hereby promulgated it.

(Article One)

The following texts shall replace the texts of Articles (two and five) of the Law No. 120 0 the ear 2008 romul atin the Law Establishing Economic Courts, and the texts of Articles (4, 6, 7, and 8) of the Law Establishing Economic Courts as promulgated bp the before-mentioned Law:

Article Two

Courts shall voluntarily refer to the economic courts all the disputes and cases which, under this Law, have become under the jurisdiction of economic courts. Disputes and cases shall be transferred to economic courts in the status they are in and without any fees imposed. In case of non-appearance of a litigant, the Clerk’s Office shall notify him/her of the transfer of the case, and serve a summons on him/her to appear at the specified date at the court to which the case has been transferred.

Economic courts shall decide on the disputes and cases transferred thereto, in enforcement of the provisions of the preceding paragraph, without bringing the same before the Preparation and Mediation Panel prescribed in Article (8) of the attached law.

Challenges that have become under the jurisdiction of the courts prescribed in Article (12) of this Law shall be transferred to these latter courts, in the status they are in.

Provisions of the first and third paragraphs of this Article shall not apply to the disputes, cases and challenges which have been decided, or those postponed for sentencing before the date of enforcement of this Law.

Judgments issued on these disputes, cases and challenges shall remain subject to the rules governing the methods of challenge applicable at th date of their issuance.

Article (Five)

The Minister of Justice shall issue, in coordination with the Minist of Communications and Information Technology, the decrees regulating registration in the Register referred to in Article (17) of the attached Law, and regulating the electronic filing, proceeding and notification of a case, and ways of protection thereof, and the electronic link of economic courts. The relevant entities shall implement these decrees.

The Minister of Justice shall issue, upon applications submitted by those that are desirous to register as nominated by competent regulatory entities, chambers, unions, or societies, and any other bodies concerned with finance, trade and industry, a decree regulating registration in the rolls indicated in Article (8) – second paragraph, of this Law.

Article (4):

Without prejudice to the competences prescribed to the economic courts in anp other law, circuits of first instance and circuits of appeal at economic courts shall, exclusively, both from the qualitative and spatial perspectives, be competent to hear criminal cases arising from the offences stated in the following laws:

  1. The Penal Code regarding forged and counterfeited coins;
  2. The Law on Supervision and Control over Insurance Business in
  3. The Law on Joint-stock Companies, Partnerships Limited by Shares, Limited Liability Companies and Sole Proprietorship;
  4. The Capital Market Law;
  5. The Law Regulating Financial Leasing and Factoring;
  6. The Law on Central Depository and Registry of Securities;
  7. The Real Estate Finance Law;

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  1. The Law on Protection of Intellectual Property Rights;
  2. The Law on the Central Bank, the Banking Sector and Money;
  3. The Law on Companies Operating in the Field of Receiving Funds for Investment thereof;
  4. The Law Regulating the Restructuring, Preventive Composition and Bankruptcy;
  5. The Law on Protection of the National Economy from the Impacts Resulting from Harmful Practices in Intemational Trade;
  6. The Law on Protection of Competition and Prohibition of

Monopolistic Practices;

  1. The Law on Consumer Protection;
  2. The Law Regulating Communications;
  3. The Law Regulating Electronic Signature, and Establishing the Information Technology Industry Development Authority;
  4. Anti-Money Laundry Law;
  5. The Law Regulating Movable Guarantees;
  6. The Law Regulating Microfinance Activity;
  7. The Investment Law; and
  8. The Law of Anti-Cyber and Information Technology Crimes;

Article (6):

Apart from the disputes and cases that come under the jurisdiction of the State Council, circuits of first instance at economic courts shall be exclusivelp competent to hear the disputes and cases whose value does not exceed ten million Egyptian pounds, and which arise out of applying the following laws:

  1. The Law on Companies Operating in the Field of Receiving Funds for Investment thereof;
  2. The Capital Market Law;
  3. The Law Regulating Financial Leasing and Factoring;
  4. The Law on Protection of the National Economy from the Impacts Resulting from Harmful Practices in International Trade;
  5. The Law on Trade regarding Transfer of Technology and Commercial Agency and Banking Operations;
  • The Real Estate Finance Law;
  1. The Law on Protection of Intellectual Property Rights;
  2. The Law Regulating Communications;
  3. The Law Regulating Electronic Signature, and Establishing the Information Technology Industry Development Authority;
  4. The Law on Protection of Competition and Prohibition of Monopolistic Practices;

l l . The Law on Joint-stock Companies, Partnerships Limited by Shares,

Limited Liability Companies and Sole Proprietorship;

  1. The Law on the Central Bank, the Banking Sector and Money;
  2. The Maritime Trade Law;
  3. The Law on Civil Aviation Regarding Transport of Goods and Passengers;
  1. The Law on Consumer Protection;
  2. The Law Regulating Movable Guarantees;
  3. The Law on Economic Zones of Special Nature;
  4. The Law Regulating Microfinance Activity;
  5. The Investment Law; and
  6. The Law of Anti-Cyber and Information Technology Crimes;

They shall also have the jurisdiction to decide in compensation or insurance cases arising from the application of the laws set out in the preceding paragraph, as the case may be.

Judgments passed in the cases indicated in the two preceding paragraphs shall be final if the value of the case is less than five hundred thousand Egyptian pounds.

Circuits of appeal at economic courts shall be exclusively competent for the first instance hearing of all disputes and cases indicated in the preceding paragraphs if their value exceeds ten million Egyptian pounds or if they are not evaluated.

Circuits of first instance and appeal at economic courts that have made the order shall have jurisdiction to hear grievances and cases related to judicial fees arising from the application of this Law and the decisions issued by the judges of the court.

Article (7):

Circuits of first instance at economic courts shall exclusivelp decide in the following matters:

l . Temporary and substantive execution disputes on judgments and orders issued by the court.

  1. Cases related to and arising from the Law Regulating Restructuring, Preventive Composition and Bankruptcy.

Judgments issued in the foregoing matters shall be challenged in the circuit of appeal at the economic court.

Article (8):

A panel named “the Preparation and Mediation Panel”, herein referred to as the “Panel” shall be established at every economic court to prepare and mediate the cases that fall under the jurisdiction of that court, except criminal cases, appealed cases, and the cases and orders prescribed in Articles (3) and (7) herein, in addition to the cases transferred thereto from other courts for qualitative jurisdiction.

The Panel shall be formed under the presidency of a judge from among the judges of the circuits of appeal at the economic court, herein referred to as “the President of the Panel”, and the membership of an adequate number of its judges holding at least the rank of president of the court of first instance, herein referred to as “preparation judge” to be selected by its general assembly at the beginning of every judicial year. The necessary number of administrative personnel and clerks shall join the Panel. The Panel may, upon its own discretion, seek the assistance of any experts and specialists registered in the rolls designated for this purpose the Ministry of Justice.

(Article Two)

New Articles shall be added to the Law Establishing Economic Courts, promulgated by the above-said Law, bearing the following numbers (7-Bis), (7-Bis-A), (7-Bis-B), (8-Bis), (8-Bis-A), (8-Bis-B), (8-Bis-C), (8Bis-D), (8-Bis-E), (8-Bis-F), (8-Bis-G), (9 / third paragraph), (13), (14), (15), (16), (17), (18), (19), (20), (21), (22). The texts of which are as follows:

Article (7-Bis):

The general assembly of every economic court shall appoint at the beginning of every judicial year one or more judge(s) from among its judges at the rank of president of the court of first instance, at least of class “a”, assisted by an adequate number of execution assistants and employees to be assigned by a decision of the president of the economic court. The judge shall supervise the execution procedures related to the deeds of execution issued by this court. He shall also issue decisions and orders made on the execution-related petitions, in matters that fall under the jurisdiction of the economic court. Grievance against decisions and orders issued by the judge shall be instituted in the circuits of first instance at economic courts. Judgments issued for the grievance shall be deemed final.

Article (7-Bis-A):

A special register shall be set up in the economic court, wherein all execution applications submitted to the execution judge shall be registered. A file shall be designated for each application, wherein all applicationsrelated papers are to be filed. The file shall be presented to the execution judge immediately at the end of each procedure, wherein the decisions and orders issued, and any judgments made by the circuit of first instance in temporary and substantive execution disputes shall be recorded.

Article (7-Bis-B):

Execution shall be conducted by the execution assistants, upon the request of the persons concerned, once the deed of execution is delivered to the competent execution judge.

If the execution assistant refrains from carrying out any execution procedure, the person concerned shall have the right to provide a petition to that effect to the execution judge.

If the execution assistant has encountered a resistance or assault, he must take all precautions, including requesting the assistance of public force and local authority, after bringing the matter before the execution judge.

Article (8-Bis):

The preperation judge shall be responsible for verifying that all documents necessary for preparation of the case for adjudication and study are complete. The preparation judge shall have the right to hold hearing sessions and mediate in disputes and cases.

Article (8-Bi-A):

The preparation judge shall notify the litigants to appear before the Panel by any means he deems appropriate, including e-mails, phone calls, or text messages. Litigation shall be deemed held if the defendant or his legal representative appears. If a litigant fails to provide a necessary document that has been requested from him, the preparation judge may impose on him a fine of not less than two hundred Egyptian pounds and not more than five hundred Egyptian pounds.

Article (8-Bis-B):

The preparation judge may hold one or several hearings between the parties of the litigation, separately or jointly, where the established rules and norms in this regard should be complied with. These hearings shall be deemed as held in camera, and neither the hearing nor the compromises made therein by the parties of the litigation may be invoked in any other court or entity.

Article (8-Bis-C):

The preparation judge shall prepare the case within a period no ••SER’.J€ exceeding thirty days from the date of registration thereof. He shall propose to the parties an amicable settlement of the dispute, and if the litigants so agree, he shall initiate the mediation process within a period not later than another thirty days, extendable to a similar period with the approval of the President of the Panel. Should the preparation judge reach a settlement, he shall draw up an agreement to that effect, to be signed by the parties to the dispute. The agreement shall be submitted to the President of the Panel for ratification, and in which case, the agreement shall have the force of a deed of execution. If the litigants do not agree on the settlement, a substantive session shall be fixed for hearing at the competent circuit, and the plaintiff shall be ordered to serve a notification thereof.

Article (8-BiD):

1

The court competent for hearing the dispute in the first instance may cease the hearing of the case, regardless of its status, and refer it again to the Panel, upon the request of the litigants, to attempt to reach a conciliation between them. The court shall fix a time limit for reaching such conciliation not exceeding thirty days, and may extend it only for one similar period.

The preparation judge shall perform his duties in the manner indicated in Article (8-Bis-B) of this Law. If he reaches a conciliation, he shall draw up an agreement to that effect, to be attached with the minutes of the hearing session for deciding on the case in accordance with the provisions of the Civil and Commercial Procedure Law. If a conciliation could not be reached, the preparation judge shall draw up a note of the procedures he has taken, and shall submit it again to the court for adjudication.

Article (8-Bis-E):

The President of the Panel shall, upon the request of a party, or on his own volition, correct any material errors found in the settlement minutes.

Article (8-Bis-F):

The parties to the dispute that comes under the jurisdiction of economic courts, may resort directly to the President of the Panel of the local-jurisdiction court, to reach an amicable settlement of the dispute without initiating legal proceedings. In this case, a fee of not less than two thousand Egyptian pounds and not more than two hundred thousand Egyptian pounds shall be paid, the categories of which shall be specified by a decree of the Minister of Justice.

The preparation judge shall carry out the mediation process in th manner indicated earlier. The limitation period of these disputes shall be suspended during the proceedings.

If the preparation judge reaches an amicable settlement, a settlement agreement shall be drawn up in the manner indicated in Article (8-Bis-C) of this Law, and shall have the force of the deed of execution. If an amicable settlement could not be reached, the preparation judge shall shelve the application and return all documents to the litigants.

Article (8-Bis-G):

The preparation judge shall refrain from hearing the cases wherein he has previously been a mediator. Should the preparation judge have an impediment that prevents him from carrying out preparation and mediation procedures, he and the persons concerned may apply to the President of the Panel to replace him with another judge. The President of the Panel must decide on the request not later than three days from the date of submission.

Article (9/third paragraph):

The provisions of the Decree Law No. 96 of the year 1952 Regulating Expertise Before Judicial Bodies shall apply as regards disciplinary actions against the experts registered in the rolls.

Article (13):

In application of the provisions of the present Law, the following words and phrases shall have the meaning ascribed thereto:

Electronic Register: the electronic-based register established at economic courts for data registration of the persons and entities prescribed in Article (17) of this Law, and their means of communication that enables the notifying person to notify litigants of the case, incidental requests, or preliminary judgments issued.

Elected Electronic Address: the domicile specified by the persons and entities prescribed herein, where they can receive notifications of all cases instituted electronically, whether such address is their e-mail, a pho number or any other technological devices.

Electronic Filing: the means of instituting and registering a statement claim, incidental requests, entry and intervention, affixing an authorized electronic signature on its statements, and filing documents and notes and those made through the designated website at the competent economic court.

Electronic Site: a site for the competent economic court, designated for electronic initiation, registration and notification of cases.

Electronic Uploading ‘ of Documents: uploading documents and notes submitted by the parties of the case on the electronic site of the competent economic court. These documents and notes can be stored, retrieved, viewed and copied, as a preparation for their attachment with the case file.

Electronic Document: a data message comprising information originated, merged, stored, sent or received, wholly or partially, by an electronic, digital, or light method, or any other similar means.

Electronic Payment: the means provided by banking and non-banking financial institutions to pay all fees of using the electronic litigation service at economic courts and judicial fees and stamp duties determined for initiating legal proceedings, including pre-paid cards (debit and credit cards) and bank drafts.

Photocopy: a photo printed from the electronic document filed with the case file.

Electronic Proceedings: initiating litigation proceedings as mandated by Law, via the designated electronic site

Electronic Notification: notifying the parties of a lawsuit, via the electronic site or the elected electronic address, of any legal action taken, upon lodging the lawsuit and during its proceedings.

Methods of Protection of Electronic Filing and Proceedings of a Case: protection measures of the documents of the case lodged electronically, with a view to avoiding alteration, change or destruction of its files, intentionally or otherwise.

Relevant Entities: entities responsible for functioning the electronic litigation system at economic courts, including Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation, General Authority for Investment and Free Zones, Financial Regulatory Authority, Egyptian Exchange, Central Bank of Egypt and Commercial Register.

Article (14):

Apart from the cases of cassation appeals, lawsuits that are under th jurisdiction of economic court may be instituted and their judgments may be challenged by the persons and entities registered in the Electronic Register, by way of a petition signed and filed electronically on the site designated for the Clerk’s Office of the competent economic court.

The case shall be registered after the plaintiff electronically pays the fees and stamp duties mandated by Law, and upload the relevant documents electronically.

A fee of not less than one hundred Egyptian pounds and not more than one thousand Egyptian pounds shall be levied for using this electronic service, as per the categories to be determined by a decree of the Minister of Justice. Proceeds of this fee shall accrue to the general revenues of the economic court’s budget. The general budget of the State shall bear the costs of establishing and operating the electronic site of this service.

Article (15):

The Clerk’s Office shall send the file electronically to the Preparation Panel. The preparation judge shall perform the preparation and mediation works prescribed in this Law. To do so, he may order that the parties of the case be summoned before him whenever he finds it necessary.

Article (16):

The parties of the case lodged electronically shall notify the litigants of its statement of claim, incidental requests and entry on the elected electronic address. If the electronic notification is not possible, the conventional method of notification as stated in the Civil and Commercial Procedure Law shall be followed. In this case, the Clerk’s Office shall be required to deliver not later than the following day a photocopy of the statement of claim, incidental requests or entry after affixing the emblem of the Republic, to the Bailiff’s Office of the competent economic court for notification thereof and return the same for filing in the paper case file. In all events, the Clerk’s Office must make a photocopy of the electronic document and file it in the paper case file.

Article (17):

Without prejudice to the provisions of any other law, those that are subject to the provisions of the present Law shall be required to specify an elected electronic address, through which notification shall be served. A unified electronic register shall be established at economic courts, wherein elected electronic addresses are to be registered, including e-mails of the following entities and persons:

  1. The State or a public legal person;
  2. Local or foreign companies or a private legal person; and
  • Law firms.

The entities and persons indicated in the first paragraph of this Article shall notify economic courts of their elected electronic addresses for registration in the RegiSter. Natural persons may be recorded in this Register. These addresses shall be deemed their elected domicile.

However, the persons concerned may agree that notification be served to any other elected elecfronic address, provided that such address is storable and retrievable.

Article (18):

The electronic notification shall be served by notifying the case on the web site at least five business days before the fixed session; by serving a notification to the State on •the elected web address of the localjurisdiction branch of State Cases Authority; and by serving a notification by the same means on the lawyers’ firms registered in thé Register, if the defendant has selected such a firm to be his elected domicile. The electronic notification shall be deemed to produce its effects once it is proven that it has been sent.

Article (19):

Litigants may file notes, submit documents, raise defense, make requests and access the documents of the case electronically via the electronic site designated for this purpose.

Article (20):

If the plaintiff fails to appear in the court’s sessions, the court may apply Article (82) of the Civil and Commercial Procedure Law.

Article (21):

If the case is lodged electronically, the Clerk’s Office may notify the litigants of the judgments and decisions made during the proceedings of the case. However, litigation may not be terminated in the same manner.

Article (22):

If the defendant appears in any hearing, or submits documents and notes electronically, the judgment terminating the litigation shall be deemed to be issued in presence of the defendant.

(Article Three)

This Law shall be published in the Official Journal, and shall come into force as of October I st 2019. Any provision in conflict with the provisions of this Law shall hereby be repealed.

This Law shall be stamped with the State’s Seal and shall be enforced as one of its laws.

Issued at the Presidency of the Republic on 6 Dhul Hijjah, 1440 (Islamic Calendar), corresponding to 7 August 2019 (Gregorian Calendar).

Abdel Fattah El Sisi

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