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7 December 2009 — DIFC Courts and Dubai Courts Clarify Legal Jurisdiction

7 December 2009 — DIFC Courts and Dubai Courts Clarify Legal Jurisdiction

December 7, 2009


Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 7th December 2009: The DIFC Courts, the Dubai International Financial Centre’s (DIFC) independent, common law judicial system, are today signing a protocol with the Dubai Courts. The protocol will further clarify the jurisdictions governed by each court, providing greater legal certainty for businesses and individuals in Dubai, the UAE and internationally. The jurisdiction protocol was created to increase the efficiency of Dubai’s judicial system by clearly identifying which of Dubai’s courts should hear and determine particular cases, enabling parties to know the correct court to which their cases should be submitted.

According to the protocol, the Dubai Courts and DIFC Courts agree that the DIFC Courts shall have exclusive jurisdiction over civil or commercial cases and disputes involving the DIFC or any company licensed to operate from the DIFC. The DIFC Courts also have jurisdiction over any civil or commercial case and dispute arising from, or related to, a contract or financial transaction that has been performed in whole or in part within the DIFC. Under the protocol, any cases that fall outside of these criteria, including all Criminal cases, will be handled by the Dubai Courts.

Dr. Ahmed Saeed bin Hezeem, Director General of Dubai Courts said: “As pillars of the Dubai legal system, the Dubai Courts and the DIFC Courts are committed to working together to achieve full judicial cooperation, which will have a highly positive impact on the maintenance of a strong judicial system in Dubai. This cooperation further strengthens the relationship between the Dubai Courts and the DIFC Courts, which was reinforced by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation, as well as a protocol on enforcement, earlier in the year.”

Commenting on the protocol, His Excellency Justice Omar Al Muhairi, a resident judge at the DIFC Courts said: “The signing of the jurisdiction protocol is yet another example of the DIFC Courts and the Dubai Courts working together to benefit the community. By clearly defining the jurisdictions governed by each court, cases should not be delayed for reasons of jurisdiction, thus ensuring the timely, cost effective resolution of disputes in the Emirate.”

The DIFC Courts is an independent court system established to uphold the provisions of DIFC laws and regulations. They provide the protection of a common law court system, with an internationally renowned bench of judges versed in commercial disputes, to ensure transparent and efficient justice in civil and commercial matters. Critically, the DIFC Courts are the only courts in Dubai that conduct legal proceedings in the English language and, as such, are highly valued by the international business community operating in the region.


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