– DIFC COURTS CODE CONFIRMED AFTER PUBLIC AND LEGAL COMMUNITY CONSULTATION PERIOD ENDS –
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 30 September 2009: The DIFC Courts, the Dubai International Financial Centre’s (DIFC) independent, common law judicial system, this week launched its Code of Professional Conduct to ensure that all lawyers registered with the DIFC Courts act with the utmost integrity and independence in support of the Court and the communities it serves, or be sanctioned, per the guidelines. The Code will be binding on all current registered practitioners appearing before the DIFC Courts as of November 1, 2009.
The Code, which has been created to guarantee the highest standards of integrity, efficiency and justice at the DIFC and to ensure that lawyers who conduct litigation before the DIFC Courts are committed to the highest professional standards of advocacy, is being introduced following a public consultation period during which the Courts received only positive feedback about, and support for, the Code drafted earlier this Summer. The Code focuses on six areas: the Courts’ Governing Principles, duties owed to the Courts, duties owed to clients, duties owed to other Practitioners, general duties and sanctions for breach of the Code.
Sir Anthony Evans, Chief Justice of the DIFC Courts said: “As part of our mission unfailingly to uphold the principles of fairness and impartiality, the DIFC Courts are pleased to announce the launch of our professional code of conduct, created to ensure that all practitioners registered with the Courts operate to the highest ethical and moral standards. We are confident that the Code will ensure that all cases heard at the Courts continue to be conducted to an exemplary standard which, in turn, will enable the Courts’ judges to dispense justice in all cases according to the law and international best practice.”
Philip Punwar, the Chair of the DIFC Courts Users’ sub-committee responsible for drafting the Code and a partner in the Dubai office of Fulbright & Jaworski LLP said: “The Courts Users’ Committee and the Courts recognised early on that there was a need for a clear and strict code of conduct that all practitioners before the DIFC Court should have to subscribe to regardless of their jurisdiction of original qualification. That consensus on the terms of the Code was achieved so quickly suggests that DIFC Courts’ Practitioners and Users already share a very clear idea of the standards they wish to see promoted and upheld in the DIFC Courts”.
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