Egyptian court orders disclosure of details for government settlements with investors

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Friday 18 Dec 2015

The High Administrative Court (HAC)
The High Administrative Court (HAC)

Egypt's Administrative Court ruled on Thursday that the cabinet must reveal all details on the settlements for investment disputes with government entities.

The court explained that the ruling aims to guarantee transparency, fight corruption and involve citizens in decision making.

The government would also have to establish a sound framework that guarantees citizens access to the details of the settlements, said the court.

The legal challenge was brought up against the prime minister by Emad Mubarak, executive director of the Association of Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE), Hossam Bahgat, former head of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, and economy reporter Wael Gamal, among others.

The first degree ruling can still be appealed at the Higher Administrative Court.

Following the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011, lawsuits alleging that land was sold too cheaply to investors and other corruption cases in government deals gained momentum, shaking investor confidence.

Successive governments have sought to assure investors through legal guarantees, including a regulation approved in April 2014 preventing third parties from challenging investor contracts with any government body.

A new investment law approved in March laid down the rules for a ministerial committee for dispute resolution, and another one to mediate disputes between investors and government administrations.

In September, a ministerial committee headed by the prime minister was created to settle disputes concerning contracts signed by investors and any government body.

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