Page 1

Strategic PLAN 2016-2021

Ground level, Building 4, The Gate District, DIFC. PO Box 211724, Dubai, UAE. Tel: +971 4 427 3333, Fax: +971 4 427 3330, www.difccourts.ae


A INTRODUCTION & Background

PAGE. 2

Strategy Plan 2015-2021.PAGE. 3


TA B L E O F C O N TE N T S A / I N TR O D U CTI O N A N D B AC K GR O U N D /XX B / V I S I O N , M I S S I O N A N D S TRATEGIC O B J ECTI V E S /XX C / A L IG N M E N T W IT H T H E D I F C , D U B AI A N D U AE /XX D / ACCE S S , S ER V ICE A N D S TA N D AR D S /XX E / CA S E W O R K /XX F / I N TER N ATI O N A L C O N N ECTI V IT Y A N D E N F O RCE M E N T /XX G / O U R P E O P L E /XX H / I N F O R M ATI O N A S S U RA N CE A N D D ATA P R O TECTI O N /XX

Strategy Plan 2015-2021.PAGE. 5


A INTRODUCTION & Background

PAGE. 6

Strategy Plan 2015-2021.PAGE. 7


A INTRODUCTION & Background 1. The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts were established in 2004 under laws enacted by His Highness the late Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Originally focused solely on matters related to the DIFC, a 2011 decree by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, extended their jurisdiction to businesses from across the region and beyond. The laws establishing the DIFC Courts ensure the highest international standard of legal procedure – thus safeguarding the DIFC Courts’ ability to provide the certainty, flexibility and efficiency expected by the global institutions operating in, with and from Dubai and the UAE. 2T  he DIFC Courts have been described as the world’s most technologically advanced commercial courts. From state-ofthe-art facilities in Dubai, the DIFC Courts’ unique Englishlanguage common law system empowers commerce through their proven success in commercial dispute resolution, innovation and enforcement. 3. The DIFC Courts form part of the Dispute Resolution Authority (DRA), which is the third body of the DIFC, alongside the DIFC Authority and the Dubai Financial Services Authority. In addition to the DIFC Courts, the DRA incorporates the DIFC Wills and Probate Registry, the first Common Law, English language wills and probate service for non-Muslims in the Middle East; the DIFC-LCIA Arbitration Centre; and the Academy of Law, an independent entity that provides quality education and support to the UAE legal community. 4. The DIFC Courts are independent from, but complementary to, the UAE’s Arabic-language civil law judicial system and arbitration centres. This unique legal framework gives companies and investors in the UAE a remarkable breadth of choice should they need to resolve a commercial dispute, between litigation or arbitration, common or civil law, and English or Arabic language. We work particularly closely with our peers at the Dubai Courts, with a Joint Committee meeting regularly to explore opportunities for further collaboration and knowledge sharing. Recent opportunities have included staff exchanges, co-hosted events and training platforms. In order to share best practices, the Courts have also signed Memoranda of Understanding with partner judicial bodies in the UAE, including the UAE Ministry of Justice. JURISDICTION 5. The DIFC Courts have jurisdiction over civil and commercial matters only. The DIFC Courts do not have jurisdiction over criminal matters, which are referred to the appropriate external authority. 6. Institutions using the DIFC Courts are permitted to select the applicable law of their choice, including the laws of the DIFC, when entering into contracts (e.g. laws of the UAE, England

PAGE. 8

A. INTRODUCTION AND Background

and Wales etc). However, in the event that parties do not specify the law to govern their contracts, DIFC laws will generally speaking be applied. 7. Following the amendment to Dubai Law in October 2011, the DIFC Courts can hear cases from anywhere in the world when the contract in question specifies DIFC Courts’ jurisdiction (pre-dispute jurisdiction) or when both parties elect to use DIFC Courts to resolve a dispute which has already arisen (post-dispute jurisdiction). 8. Following a legal opinion issued by Dubai’s Supreme Legislation Committee in 2015, Dubai government entities are able to opt-in to the jurisdiction of the DIFC Courts to hear and determine any civil or commercial lawsuit where a government entity is a party. The move emphasised the DIFC Courts’ position as an integral part of the Emirate’s judicial system. 9. In 2015, the default jurisdiction of the DIFC Courts Small Claims Tribunal (SCT) was extended to cover all claims up to AED500,000 in value, regardless of the nature of the case. The move has benefitted businesses by offering cheaper, faster and more discreet access to justice, with the emphasis at SCT hearings, which are held in private before a judge, on amicable dispute resolution. Parties are usually not represented by lawyers.

JUDGES 10. The DIFC Courts’ bench consists of nine distinguished commercial court judges who have earned the trust and confidence of the international legal community. A person is qualified to be appointed as a judge if they are currently or in the past have been the holder of high judicial office in any jurisdiction recognised by the Government of the UAE, or if they have significant experience as a qualified lawyer or judge in the common law system. 11. The Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice and Justices are appointed through decrees issued by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, in his capacity as Ruler of Dubai. The Chief Justice of the DIFC Courts is Michael Hwang, SC and the Deputy Chief Justice is Sir John Murray Chadwick. The other Judges of the DIFC Courts are Justices Tun Zaki Azmi, Roger Giles, HE Ali Shamis Al Madhani, HE Omar Juma Al Muhairi, HE Shamlan Al Sawalehi, Sir David Steel and Sir Richard Field. 12. Justices hail from the UAE, United Kingdom, Singapore, Malaysia and Australia, which importantly gives the DIFC Courts’ bench a broad understanding of the requirements of international business.

Strategy Plan 2015-2021.PAGE. 9


PAGE. 10

Strategy Plan 2015-2021.PAGE. 11


B. VISION, MISSION AND STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES  THE VISION OF THE DIFC COURTS IS: 1. To be one of the world’s leading commercial courts by 2021 by focussing on these four key qualities: ✑ Innovation By continuing to set regional and international firsts, such as the ‘conversion’ of judgments into arbitral awards; ✑ Judicial Excellence By offering a uniquely international and experienced bench of judges able to deal with the most complex transnational disputes; ✑ Service Excellence By delivering court excellence through the implementation of the International Framework of Court Excellence (IFCE), The International Standards for Service Excellence (TISSE) and the UAE Standards for Government Services Excellence Programme; and ✑ Connectivity By building the world’s strongest enforcement regime through formal and informal agreements with other Common Law jurisdictions.

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES FOR THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE DIFC COURTS: 3. Whilst primarily a common law court, the DIFC Courts are not inhibited from adopting civil law procedures which are more effective and they will continue to synthesise the best from litigation, arbitration and mediation, with academic overlay to provide a new, more modern set or procedures for resolving disputes, creating a transnational and trans-systemic approach to dispute resolution. 4. The DIFC Courts will actively create an environment which maintains the independence of judges and upholds the trust and confidence they have earned among the international business and legal communities. They can accordingly carry out their duties protected from external pressures, while being fully empowered to implement the Rule of Law. 5. The DIFC Courts aim to empower regional commerce by increasing confidence in the administration and accessibility of justice throughout the Dubai International Financial Centre, the UAE, the GCC and beyond.

THE MISSION OF THE DIFC COURTS IS:

6. The DIFC Courts will maintain their position as one of the world’s most technologically advanced commercial courts and will continually strive to enhance their processes.

2. To make the UAE one of the best places in the world to do business by unfailingly upholding the principles of fairness and impartiality, treating court users with understanding and consistently dispensing equal justice according to the law and international best practices.

7. The DIFC Courts will collaborate closely with all seven Emirates as well as continuing to establish close working relationships with courts in other Gulf countries and other common law jurisdictions, particularly those with close trading links to the UAE. 8. The DIFC Courts will enrich and advance the UAE legal sector and create an empowering environment for Emiratis seeking a career in the judiciary. 9. The DIFC Courts will leverage their status as an established centre of legal excellence to provide consultancy (directly or indirectly) to other jurisdictions and systems around the world. 10. The DIFC Courts will seek membership of, and accreditation by, leading international quality assurance organisations in order to share excellence across geographies.

PAGE. 12

Strategy Plan 2015-2021.PAGE. 13


A INTRODUCTION & Background

PAGE. 14

Strategy Plan 2015-2021.PAGE. 15


C. ALIGNMENT WITH THE DIFC, DUBAI 1. This business plan covers the DIFC Courts’ activities, aims and objectives for the period 2016-2021. Through its implementation, the DIFC Courts aspire to be among the world’s leading commercial courts by 2021 in four key areas: the most innovative, the best bench, the highest service standards, and the most connected. 2. This five-year business plan has been developed to actively support federal, local and DIFC strategic objectives. DIFC 3. By providing state-of-the art legal infrastructure and offering transparency and certainty to businesses, the DIFC Courts

have been integral to supporting the free zone’s past strategic objectives. 4. The DIFC Courts will continue to play a central role in achieving the DIFC’s strategic objectives over the next ten years. Specific areas include leveraging the Courts’ global reputation to help attract major international financial services companies, as well as those from emerging markets, to set-up in the free zone or expand their existing operations. By establishing formal links with court systems in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, the DIFC Courts will support the DIFC’s objective of serving companies in the “SouthSouth” Corridor. The DIFC Courts are also helping to make the free zone a magnet for world class legal talent.

AND UNITED ARAB EMIRATES DUBAI THEME KPI The People: “A City of Happy, Creative & Empowered People”

Participation rate among Emiratis in the labour market

The Experience: “The Preferred Place to Live, Work & Visit”

Proportion of individuals who recommend Dubai to a friend or associate as a place to live. Sense of security in Dubai

The Place: “A Smart & Sustainable City”

Satisfaction with the Infrastructure of Dubai

The Economy: “A Pivotal Hub in the Global Economy”

GDP Growth Rate. Trade Openness Ratio. International Financial Centre Index. Dubai Ease of Doing Business ranking. Foreign direct investment as a percentage of GDP

The Government: “A Pioneering and Excellent Government”

Satisfaction rate with the quality of City’s services. Government Efficiency Index. Rule of Law Index. Proportion of individuals who have confidence in the judicial system and the courts

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES INDICATOR

DEFINITION

SOURCE

2012 RESULTS

2021 TARGETS

KEY SPONSOR

Safe Public and Fair Judiciary Judicial System Efficiency

A composite indicator that measures the effectiveness of enforcing contracts within the World Bank Rank 121 Among the “Doing Business” report, using a survey implemented by the World Bank on (3) perspectives: (2015 result-2015 report) top 10 countries Time needed to resolve a commercial case from its initiation to its resolution, the number of procedures required, and the cost as percentage of the total value of the lawsuit.

Ministry of Justice

An indicator that measures foreign direct investment (FDI) as a percentage of GDP. FDI is defined as the amount of net inflow of investment required to achieve a lasting management interest (10 percent or more of voting stock) in an enterprise operating in an economy other than that of the investor. It is the sum of equity capital, reinvestment of earnings, other long-term and short-term capital, as shown in the balance of payments.

Ministry of Economy

Competitive Knowledge Economy Net inflow of Foreign Direct Investment as % of GDP

United Nations 2.66% (2014) 5% Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad)

Global Competitiveness Index A composite indicator that measures the competitiveness of countries based on (12) World Economic Forum Rank 12 (2014-2015 report) Among the top 10 Countries perspectives: institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labor market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication, and innovation. Share of UAE Nationals An indicator that measures the share of UAE nationals employed out of the total workforce The National HR 5.0% (2014) 8% in the workforce (expatriates and nationals), across all sectors (NKPI specific to UAE). Development & Employment Authority

Emirates Competitiveness Council

The National HR Development & Employment Authority (Tanmia)

Ease of Doing Business Index

A composite indicator that measures government procedures around business activity World Bank Rank 22 Rank 1 It is based on (10) sub-indicators: starting a business, obtaining construction permits, (2015 result - 2015 report) registering property, obtaining credit facilities, protection of investors, payment of taxes, cross-border trading, enforcing contracts, resolving insolvency, and obtaining electricity.

Emirates Competitiveness Council

Global Innovation Index

A composite index that measures the performance of innovation in countries. Innovation INSEAD Rank 36 Among the top 10 Countries Ministry of Economy inputs are measured based on institutions, human capital and research, infrastructure, market (2014 result - 2014 report) sophistication, and business sophistication, while innovation output is measured by knowledge and technology outputs, and creative outputs.

Sustainable Environment and Infrastructure Online Service Index

PAGE. 16

This indicator measures the evolution of eGovernment services (i.e., smart services) in terms United Nations of availability, quality and diversity of channels and the use of the public for these services.

E-Government Survey Rank 1 Rank 12 (2014 result-2014 report

Telecommunications Regulatory Authority

Strategy Plan 2015-2021.PAGE. 17


A INTRODUCTION & Background

PAGE. 18

Strategy Plan 2015-2021.PAGE. 19


D. ACCESS, SERVICE AND STANDARDS 1. We are committed to providing fair and open access to justice for everyone. We want to ensure everyone using our services is treated with dignity and understanding. 2. The DIFC Courts are designed to be familiar, transparent and user-centric to all users, whether in business, the law or a member of the general public. 3. L  awyers, media and members of the public can easily access the DIFC Courts’ facilities and are welcome to attend court hearings. Details of forthcoming cases and judgments – except for the SCT and arbitration cases, which are confidential – are published on our website and all proceedings of the DIFC Courts are recorded on video and made available via our website. 4. Information on the workings of each element of the DIFC Courts can be found on our website or in user guides available at the Courts or online. The ‘frequently asked questions’ (FAQ) section of the website is regularly updated so that it reflects the most common enquiries received. 5. We offer a dedicated reception/information desk service on all working days, to welcome visitors and deal with enquiries. 6. Regular group visits are encouraged from international and national universities, training institutes and similar bodies, according to courtroom availability. MEDIA LIAISON 7. T  he DIFC Courts follow a policy of transparency wherever possible, however, no comment is ever made on the merits or judicial decisions related to any particular case. 8. Hearings before the Court of First Instance (CFI) are open to members of the media, except on rare occasions when a request for a confidential hearing is being considered or has been granted. However, cases before the SCT and cases related to underlying arbitrations are confidential and held in private, although key decisions in those cases are published in a redacted form. 9. The latest case information can be found online on the DIFC Courts’ website (www.difccourts.ae) and an RSS feed is available for notification of new case information. A Twitter feed has been developed and regularly highlights new case listings as well as hearings and judgments. 10. The website’s ‘Press Centre’ contains details of all press releases, judges’ addresses and speeches, newsletters and annual reviews for download.

PAGE. 20

11. M  edia comment on the DIFC Courts is monitored regularly and professional relationships are entered into with all interested media parties. The Courts’ communications department is available to the media as required – they are invited to contact: info@difccourts.ae SERVICE EXCELLENCE 12. W  e place a strong emphasis on customer service, treating court-users fairly and developing new ways of engaging with the community. We have an exceptional track record of integrating technological innovations into our operations, have implemented the International Framework for Court Excellence (IFCE) across the organisation and were the first court in the world to be accredited to The International Standards for Service Excellence (TISSE).

Second, by exploring greater use of remote access technology, for example, allowing SCT parties to appear from anywhere in the world via their smartphones. Third, by continuing the process of case management-related automation, freeing up court employees’ time to work with parties and their counsel in the active resolution of their cases. Fourth, and looking much further into the future, by studying research into the potential for technology assisted review and artificial intelligence to analyse submissions and distil the legal issues of a case early on, thereby promoting earlier settlement of cases at a lower cost. Although a virtual judge seems like a distant possibility, technological breakthroughs in areas such as medical diagnosis suggest next generation technology could offer considerable value to court systems and dispute resolution generally. PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT

13. O  ur journey towards court excellence was recognised in 2014 by becoming the first Dubai Government entity to receive five stars under the UAE’s rating system for government services. In the same year, our work championing high legal standards internationally saw us take home the award in the “Excellence in International Legal Services” category at the prestigious Excellence Awards, organised by the UK’s Law Society. We will continue to seek international recognition to guide and reinforce the work we are doing. 14. T  he DIFC Courts take into consideration the views of court users when making strategic decisions. We are advised by the Courts’ Users Committee (CUC) and the Rules Sub Committee (RSC), which consist of international and national lawyers, who meet regularly to review and discuss the Courts’ plans, procedures and practices. We also regularly convene in-house lawyers for the DIFC Courts General Counsel Forum, which is a unique platform for sharing legal experiences among the many multinational companies operating in or with the Middle East. 15. P  ublic consultation is invited ahead of all major Court developments. For example, in March 2015, we released three documents for a one month period of public consultation, relating to the jurisdiction of the SCT, de novo reconsideration by DIFC Courts judges, and fee revisions. TECHNOLOGICAL LEADERSHIP 16. W  e will maintain our position as one of the world’s most technologically advanced commercial courts in four specific ways. First, by partnering with leading global technology providers to identify ways to deliver an ever better user experience, including harnessing the Internet of Things.

17. The Mandatory Code of Conduct for Legal Practitioners in the DIFC Courts, the first in the Middle East, ensures a consistently high standard of behaviour for all lawyers. The Code was revised and expanded in September 2014 to amplify existing provisions and ensure the increasing number of lawyers using the DIFC Courts maintain the highest standards of professional conduct when representing their clients. 18. The Rules of the DIFC Court (RDC) help the Courts deal with cases justly and ensure an equal footing for all parties. They are regularly assessed and benchmarked against other world class dispute resolution fora to keep Dubai at the forefront of commercial legal best practice. 19. We continue to work with our sister organisation, the Academy of Law, to support the on-going growth and development of the UAE legal profession, including through the organisation of a regular Lecture Series and ongoing educational programmes. COMPLAINTS 20. All staff at the DIFC Courts operate under a set of agreed core standards which deal with external contacts and communications, together with internal issues such as staff management, Information Technology, use of resources, health and safety, security and team-working. Any comments and complaints regarding DIFC Courts employees are dealt with in accordance with a complaints policy which covers staff and administrative procedures. We monitor the level and nature of all comments and complaints received, using them as a tool to improve our performance.

Strategy Plan 2015-2021.PAGE. 21


A INTRODUCTION & Background

PAGE. 22

Strategy Plan 2015-2021.PAGE. 23


heard within nine months of the first Case Management Conference. The Courts are, however, sensitive to the needs of a particular case and of its parties. We therefore endeavour to arrange hearings according to the availability of parties’ legal representatives. In practice it is this factor alone which can prolong the ‘life’ of a case. 4. In synergy with the pace and nature of business in an international financial centre, the Courts have put in place arrangements to support accessible, swift and efficient justice, such as the Urgent Application Facility. This offers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week access to justice through our dedicated emergency telephone contact number: + 971 4 427 333 (also available on the opening page of the website).

E. CASEWORK 1. Casework is the core activity of the DIFC Courts and will continue to be given the highest priority. 2. Once the required papers have been filed with the Courts, the Courts’ target in 2016-2021 will be: ✑ To ensure that the majority of CFI cases are listed for trial within nine months of the date of the first Case Management Conference; ✑ At the outset of each case, to send a case timetable with the sealed Claim Form in order to allow lawyers and their clients to better plan the conduct of a case; ✑ To require any extension request from a lawyer or lawyers to be accompanied by a letter from their client(s), confirming that the client understands that the Court is ready to progress the matter and that the requested extension is likely to delay the resolution of the case; and ✑ To ensure that, on average, judgments for CFI and Court of Appeal cases are handed down within three months of the close of submissions.

5. T  he DIFC Courts offer one of the world’s most advanced legal process. Modern courtroom technology allows for judges and witnesses to participate in hearings live from locations anywhere in the world and the Courts’ electronic case management system enables access to a complete archive of all case papers, live in the courtroom or remotely from an outside location. APPEALS 6. The latest edition of the Rules of the DIFC Courts, published in April 2014, details the procedures for appeals to (a) the Court of First Instance and (b) the Court of Appeal. An appellant or respondent requires permission to appeal, according to regulations set out in Part 44 of the above document. The procedures for the necessary permissions, notices, documents and costs are listed accordingly. 7. Following feedback from court users, we intend to revise the procedures for appeals to provide greater and more efficient access to justice at the appeals stage. DATA CAPTURE 8. At the recommendation of the Chief Justice, we will review trends in relation to cost litigation and share the details publicly.

SITTING DAYS ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION 3. Once leave for a hearing has been granted, a hearing date is fixed, based on the time estimate provided by the parties. Hearings usually last for between two and five days although for complex cases they can last considerably longer. The Courts’ target is that, on average, cases are to be

PAGE. 24

9. The Rules of the DIFC Courts (RDC) already support the use of alternative dispute resolution (Part 27) and we will be exploring further opportunities to encourage alternative dispute resolution to support the settlement of disputes.

Strategy Plan 2015-2021.PAGE. 25


A INTRODUCTION & Background

PAGE. 26

Strategy Plan 2015-2021.PAGE. 27


F. INTERNATIONAL CONNECTIVITY AND ENFORCEMENT 1. The DIFC Courts proactively connect with other court systems to support the needs of business and have put in place one of the world’s strongest enforcement regimes. 2. When there is a relevant treaty in place between the UAE and the overseas jurisdiction, enforcement is governed by the terms of that treaty. Where there is not, enforcement depends on the laws of the State in which the judgment creditor is seeking enforcement. The UAE has entered into a number of treaties with other countries which govern the reciprocal enforcement of judgments. These include the GCC Convention (1996); the Riyadh Arab Agreement for Judicial Cooperation (“the Riyadh Convention 1983”) the “Paris Convention” (1992) with France and agreements with Tunisia (1975), India (2000) and the Republic of China (2004). 3. Under the Protocol on Enforcement signed in 2009, the DIFC Courts and Dubai Courts are dedicated to providing an efficient mutual enforcement mechanism. Since 2008, the DIFC Courts and Dubai Courts have seen more than a hundred of each other’s decisions successfully enforced with disputes involving breach of contract, employment, and investments. All enforcement actions between the Courts have been successful and we will continue to work with the Dubai legislator to provide even smoother enforcement. 4. We have established strong ties with other jurisdictions and court systems across the UAE and wider Middle East, including Memoranda of Understanding with the UAE Ministry of Justice, Ras Al Khaimah Courts’ Department, Dubai Judicial Institute, and the Jordanian Ministry of Justice. 5. Outside of the region, formal arrangements covering the mutual enforcement of money judgments are in place with key Common Law jurisdictions including the Commercial Court of England and Wales, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, the Supreme Court of Singapore, the Federal Court of Australia, the New South Wales Supreme Court, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the High Court of Kenya (Commercial and Admiralty Division) and the Supreme Court of Korea.

7. A  dedicated Enforcement Department was established in 2014 to ensure the simple and speedy enforcement of orders made by both the DIFC Courts and other jurisdictions. Its two areas of responsibility are to enforce judgments made by the DIFC Courts’ both locally and internationally, and as appropriate to enforce the orders of other courts. 8. During the period 2016 to 2021, we will seek to complete the work of formalising connections with court systems in the UAE’s key trading markets, including a significant focus on countries within Asia. Specifically, we aim to build on our existing enforcement regime by putting in place memoranda with each court in the GCC, as well as with courts in the UAE’s top 10 trading partner countries.

G. OUR PEOPLE 1. The DIFC Courts strive to enrich and advance the UAE legal sector by creating an empowering environment for Emiratis seeking a career in the highest echelons of the judicial sector. As at the date of publication, 50% of our Dubai-based team members are UAE nationals and, of our Dubai-based judges, judicial officers and registrars, 75% are UAE nationals.

4. The DIFC Courts provide technical training for individual members of staff, as appropriate. We also believe in motivating our employees and host an internal annual ‘Chief Justice’s Award’. We survey employee satisfaction annually; based on the feedback received we work on improving HR standards.

2. The Courts take UAE national interns for training each year, as part of their degree studies, as well as accepting occasional international interns at a more advanced study level.

5. To assess levels of employee engagement, the Courts’ first staff survey was issued in December 2011. Subsequent surveys have shown constant improvement in court administration competencies and customer service.

3.We strive to fully reflect the diversity of the society that we serve and we value the contributions which employees from all sections of society make to our work.

9. We will work with UAE Federal Government to explore the possibility of the UAE signing the Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements, specifically as it might apply to the DIFC Courts. This will further enhance the ease and speed of enforcement of DIFC Court decisions. 10. Outside of formal memoranda, we continue to build international links through our participation in delegations and via the many speaking engagements that our judges and Registry team make at legal and business conferences throughout the year. 11. In the UAE, we will work closely with DIFC Wills & Probate Registry in relation to probate matters regarding assets held in the emirate of Dubai. 12. W  e will compile and publish enforcement-related data so parties can see where and how quickly judgments have been enforced. We will also develop the Enforcement Department further to provide additional support to parties requiring the enforcement of our decisions, which will be funded from fees payable by parties which do not honour our court orders.

6. In 2015, a first of its kind mechanism was introduced allowing parties opting into the jurisdiction of the DIFC Courts to also refer their final judgments for enforcement through the DIFCLCIA Arbitration Centre. This allows the DIFC-LCIA Arbitration Centre to “convert” a judgment of the DIFC Courts into an arbitral award, providing greater enforcement internationally under the provisions of the New York Convention of 1958.

PAGE. 28

Strategy Plan 2015-2021.PAGE. 29


A INTRODUCTION & Background

PAGE. 30

Strategy Plan 2015-2021.PAGE. 31


Ground level, Building 4, The Gate District, DIFC. PO Box 211724, Dubai, UAE. Tel: +971 4 427 3333, Fax: +971 4 427 3330, www.difccourts.ae

DIFC Courts strategic plan 2016 2021  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you