PROTOCOL of JURISDICTION Between DUBAI COURTS And DIFC COURTS
Jurisdiction is an important element of the judicial process. It is an important requirement that the Courts identify their jurisdiction to hear and determine cases, so that parties know the correct court to which their cases should be
submitted. This avoids setting aside judgments for reasons of jurisdiction, loss of time, resources and costs to the justice system and to individuals. Dubai Courts and the Dubai International Financial Centre Courts (“DIFC Courts”) are pillars of the Dubai legal system and agree that both Courts should have full judicial cooperation. The cooperation shall have a positive impact on effectively establishing and maintaining a strong Judicial System in Dubai. Furthermore, this cooperation shall strengthen the relationships between the Dubai Courts and the DIFC Courts especially after the initial signing of the Memorandum of Understanding in 16 June 2009. The Dubai Courts and the DIFC Courts have agreed on the following:
2- Purpose and Objectives.
Whereas, Article 5 (b) of DIFC Law No. 12 of 2004 regarding the Judicial Authority at the DIFC, prescribed that the Court of First Instance shall have exclusive jurisdiction over the civil or commercial cases and disputes arising from or related to a contract that has been executed or a transaction that has been concluded, in whole or in part, in the Dubai International Financial Centre (the “Centre”) or an incident that has occurred in the Centre. However the interpretation of the terms “executed”, “transaction” and “incident” are not further defined in the law. The law also does not set out the legal procedures for transferring cases between the Dubai Courts and the DIFC Courts. This resulted in some challenges of interpretation. Therefore, there is a need to create an accurate mechanism to enable both Courts to interpret those rules and procedures in light of the applicable laws in the Emirate of Dubai which reflects the importance of this Protocol.
3- Jurisdiction’ Courts DIFC
The Dubai Courts and DIFC Courts agree that the DIFC Courts shall have exclusive jurisdiction over:
3.1 Civil or commercial cases and disputes involving the Centre or any of the Centre’s Bodies or any of the Centre’s companies, and branches of companies and establishments that are established or licensed to operate in the DIFC;
3.2 Civil or commercial cases and disputes arising from or related to a contract that is to be or has been performed in whole or in part within the DIFC.
3.3 Civil or commercial cases and disputes arising from or related to a transaction that has taken place, in whole or in part, in the Centre, and which is related to Financial Banking Activities, Financial Activities, Ancillary Activities or any Activities licensed to be performed within the DIFC;
3.4 Civil or commercial cases and disputes arising from or related to an incident that has occurred in the Centre, except Criminal Proceedings relating to any Criminal Offence according to the Penal Codes; and
3.5 Disputes about Civil remedies flowing from or related to any criminal Offence that has occurred in the Centre.
4- Dubai Courts’ Jurisdiction.
Dubai Courts have general jurisdiction except for the mentioned areas in subparagraph 3 of this protocol.
5- The procedures of the competent Court.
After a final Judgment (meaning not subject to appeal) is issued by either Dubai Courts or DIFC Courts that it has no jurisdiction to hear the Case, the parties may submit the dispute to the other Court to deal with the dispute according to the applicable procedural rules of that Court, taking into consideration the following:
5.1- The procedures of DIFC Courts.
(a) The Judgment which is issued in respect of the Jurisdiction must be final.
(b) The Claimant shall cause the entire Judgment of the Dubai Courts to be translated into English by a legal translator.
(c) The Claimant shall submit the claim form and the entire Judgment to the DIFC Courts’ Registry.
(d) The DIFC Courts will apply the Rules of the DIFC Courts.
(g) The Claimant will be required to pay a fee to the DIFC Courts according to its fee schedule from time to time.
5.2- The procedures of Dubai Courts.
(a) The Judgment which is issued in respect of the Jurisdiction must be final. أ- أن يكون
(b) The Claimant shall cause the entire Judgment of the DIFC Courts to be translated into Arabic by a legal translator.
(c) The Claimant shall submit the claim form and the entire Judgment to the Dubai Courts’ Registry.
(d)The Dubai Courts will apply the Federal Civil Procedural Law.
(g) The Claimant will be required to pay a fee to Dubai Courts according to its fees schedule from time to time.
6. General Conditions.
6.1 For the purposes of putting this Protocol into effect, both Courts shall cooperate to issue directions to their registries in regards to registration of cases which have no jurisdiction.
6.2 Both Courts shall include a copy of this Protocol on its websites in both Arabic and English.
6.3 Both Courts shall print and distribute information about the Jurisdiction procedures between the two Courts which may be given to the public and users of the two courts.
6.4 The parties agree to use reasonable efforts to keep each other informed of any changes to their existing legal authority that would affect the implementation of this Protocol.
7.1 This Protocol will apply until a legislative amendment further defines the Jurisdiction between the two Courts, and to identify the relevant Court to resolve any conflict of jurisdiction between the two Courts, whether the conflict is positive or negative.
7.2 This Protocol takes effect from 7 of December 2009.
For the DIFC COURTS
Sir Anthony Evans
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