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18 September 2012 — Dubai Courts and DIFC Courts Launch Development Programmes for Legal Practitioners in the UAE

18 September 2012 — Dubai Courts and DIFC Courts Launch Development Programmes for Legal Practitioners in the UAE

September 18, 2012

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Programmes form part of His Highness Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum Initiatives for Legal Excellence

18 September 2012, Dubai, UAE: In the name of HH Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Chairman of the Judicial Council in Dubai, the inauguration of the “Maktoum bin Mohammed Al Maktoum Initiatives for Legal Excellence” was announced tonight. The initiatives, which are announced under His Highness’ patronage, are the first of their kind in the Middle East and are aimed at developing the legal and judiciary community, and students of law, in the United Arab Emirates.

The “Maktoum bin Mohammed Al Maktoum Initiatives for Legal Excellence”, which have been coordinated by Dubai Courts, in cooperation with the DIFC Courts, will focus on advancing the knowledge and skills of those working in the Emirate’s judicial system and on stimulating entrepreneurship in the legal sector here.

The Initiatives are a platform for several programmes covering various aspects of the legal and judicial domains, including:

•   The “Maktoum bin Mohammed Al Maktoum Moot Court Competition,” an academic stimulated court case competition geared to law students in the United Arab Emirates. The competition will be held annually by the Dubai Courts.
•   The Maktoum bin Mohammed Academic Law Research Student Competition is an academic research contest for law students in the United Arab Emirates. Students will be judges on preparation of an academic law study: this annual competition has also been designed by Dubai Courts, with support from the Faculty of Law at the University of the United Arab Emirates.
•   A grants and scholarships element of the Maktoum bin Mohammed Al Maktoum programme is a collaborative effort launched by Dubai Government Human Resources Department and Dubai Courts. It will provide UAE-native law students with financial support towards further education.
•   The DIFC Courts Academy has also been launched as one of the Initiatives for Legal Excellence. The Academy will educate practitioners seeking a better understanding of the laws and procedures of DIFC Courts. Enrolment will open in October 2012 and ten lectures will take place between 11 November 2012 and 10 February 2013. Participants will benefit from the knowledge and expertise of leading law practitioners in English common law judicial systems, who regularly practice litigation in DIFC Courts. The Academy will provide the participants with official certificates upon completion of the program.

Dr Ahmed Saeed bin Hazeem, General Manager of Dubai Courts, stated that: “These directives will further enhance the judicial systems in Dubai, in accordance with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the United Arab Emirates Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, requiring all government departments and organisations in Dubai to empower young people and encourage their innovation in order to improve the Emirate’s competitiveness.

“These Legal Excellence Initiatives will contribute to promoting the highest standards of excellence in the judicial sector, with a view to aligning it with the best systems in the world.”

Dr bin Hazeem added: “The programs should motivate law students to pursue a career in the judicial system and also contribute to the development and diversification of the human resources’ intellectual capacities in Dubai’s judicial systems.”

Dubai Courts’ General Manager stressed that the Maktoum bin Mohammed Al Maktoum Initiatives for Legal Excellence demonstrate the healthy partnerships that joins Dubai Courts with many academic and judicial institutions in the United Arab Emirates, including Dubai Government Human Resources Department, DIFC Courts, the Faculty of Law of the UAE University and DMI (the media sponsor of the initiatives).

Chief Justice Michael Hwang of the DIFC Courts said: “DIFC Courts, Dubai’s English language, common-law Courts, are proud to play an important role in His Highness’s Initiatives for Legal Excellence.

“Dubai’s dual-system legal structure is one of the most sophisticated in the Middle East and this is in no small part due to the vision and focus of His Highness and Dubai’s Judicial Council. The initiatives launched today will further enhance the Emirate’s rapidly developing legal sector.

“We are particularly proud to be launching the DIFC Courts’ Academy on such a prestigious occasion. The Academy has been established to educate all practitioners, from any background, on the rules and procedures of the DIFC Courts – and to introduce advocates who have no previous experience of us, or indeed of common law, to the laws of the DIFC and the procedures of the DIFC Courts.”

Complementing the launch ceremony of the Maktoum Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum Initiatives for Legal Excellence, a seminar on the topic “Dispute Settlement in Communities with Mixed Legal Traditions” was presented by Sheikha Haya bint Rashid Al Khalifa, Chairperson of the Bahrain Centre for Dispute Resolution and Founder of Haya Rashed Al Khalifa, Attorneys at Law & Legal Consultants.

The discussion was of pertinent interest to the audience of United Arab Emirates-based advocates, from mixed backgrounds, that practice both common and civil law in the Emirate.

On this occasion, Sheikha Haya commented: “The dynamic pace of development in technology and communication means that we need to understand the variation of cultures, accept the differences and adapt to accommodate them – this naturally applies to the legal community.

“As we are all aware, legal systems differ and what we are dealing with today is ‘looking in depth’ at interpretations and principles. Invariably, the common law system and the civil law system govern or apply to most international transactions. It is therefore evident that better understanding of each system translates to the quality of work and subsequently to its effectiveness.”

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