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Recourse Against Non-ICSID Investment Arbitration Awards in the MENA Region*

Gordon Blanke

ABSTRACT

Non-ICSID investment arbitration awards can be challenged either in the courts of primary jurisdiction at the seat of the arbitration or, when opposing an application for enforcement, in the courts of secondary jurisdiction at the place of enforcement. Either way, it will be the degree of arbitration-friendliness of the national court that determines whether or not a challenge to set aside or refuse enforcement of the award will succeed. Although MENA courts are more arbitration-friendly than is commonly thought, there remains some uncertainty over how reliable they are in enforcing (investment) arbitration awards against state entities. There is little (if any) practical guidance to date. Investors are therefore advised to tread carefully before committing to arbitration in a MENA jurisdiction or seeking enforcement of a non-ICSID award there.