Author(s): Dr. Mutasim Ahmad Alqudah
Members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have been slow in accepting modern arbitration practices. Some of the GCC countries have only recently started to modernize their arbitration laws to bring them in line with these modern practices. Sharia has always been viewed as an obstacle to the development of arbitration in this part of the world, and many still see it as an impediment to the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards in the GCC countries. In this article, the author argues that there is enough flexibility within sharia to accommodate modern international arbitration practices, and the delay in accepting these practices is attributed to other factors, mainly the negative experience the GCC countries have had with arbitration. This paper concludes that arbitration in the GCC will realise its fullest potential only if the modernization of arbitration laws is combined with a greater understanding and acceptance, by the western legal community, of sharia as a legal system.