The DIFC Courts, the English language common-law judicial system based in Dubai, have issued a guide to enforcement. The white paper provides details on enforcing DIFC Courts’ judgments outside the DIFC in Dubai, the UAE and across the world.The paper has been finalised after circulation for public consultation in March this year: it provides further evidence of Dubai’s growing role as an international business hub.
The new guide is essential reading for DIFC Courts’ registered lawyers, and all other interested parties, to know where they stand in relation to enforcement in the GCC, the Arab World and beyond, including key growth markets in Asia.
In addition to this, the document clarifies where and how DIFC Courts’ judgments are enforceable, and shows the results of extensive consultation with leading international and regional legal firms registered with the Courts.
HE Justice Omar Juma Al Muhairi, Judge at the DIFC Courts, said: “We are delighted that these guidelines have been approvedby legal practitioners with experience of cross jurisdictional enforcement.”
Mark Beer, DIFC Courts Registrar, added: “We have had an effective and efficient system in place since inception, — this guide makes the procedure for enforcement even clearer for lawyers, individuals and businesses using our Courts. Enforcement is crucial for the security of businesses around the world and the DIFC Courts are fully equipped to deal with cross border disputes as and when they arise.”
Cynthia Trench of international law firm Trench & Associates commented:“This guide produced by the DIFC Courts has pulled together the expertise and insight of leading local and international lawyers based in the region. Such clarification is key for clients using any court: the transparency and clarity offered to international and regional businesses is extremely positive.”
DIFC Courts’ judgments, decisions or orders can be enforced through the Dubai Courts if three conditions are satisfied. They must be final, they must be legally translated into Arabic and they must be certified by the DIFC Courts for execution. Importantly, the execution judge may not re-open the merits of the case.
Adrian Chadwick, Partner at Hadef& Partners said:“This extremely significant developmentis a notable step for the UAE judicial system. Recognition of DIFC judgments outside the country brings a large level of certainty to the legal community. Itenables us, as lawyers, to reassure our clients that the pursuit of justice need not end at the UAE’s borders.”
DIFC Courts’ judgments will be enforced in the Dubai Courts in the same way, and using the same procedures, as judgments delivered by the Dubai Courts themselves. There are a number of cases where DIFC Courts’ orders, decisions and judgments have been enforced by the Dubai Courts.
The recent Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) between the DIFC Courts, the UAE Federal Ministry of Justice, as well as the Courts of the Ras Al KhaimahEmirate are expected to assist in the enforcement of DIFC judgments, decisions and orders within the UAE.
In recent years, the UAE has entered into a number of treaties with other countries which govern the reciprocal enforcement of court judgments, such as The GCC Convention (1996); the Riyadh Convention 1983) in the region and internationally, the Paris Convention (1992) and agreements with India (2000) and the Republic of China (2004).
Before joining SME Advisor, I worked as a producer/reporter for Forbes Media in New York. I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and International Studies at the University of South Florida in the US. I am currently in Dubai working as Sub-Editor for SME Advisor Middle East, which is a business magazine published by CPI. You can follow me on Twitter: @joumanasaad or @SMEadvisorME and (Joumana Saad) or (SME Advisor) on LinkedIn.