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Advocates / Practitioners Guide

Advocates / Practitioners Guide

January 2, 2014

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Introduction

1. This guide is for all DIFC Courts’ Practitioners.

2. The following paragraphs are written for general information only and should not be taken as a statement of the law, nor should it be taken as an indication of how the Court will interpret or apply the law in future.

General

1. When entering or leaving the Court room you should be quiet so that you do not disrupt the Court proceedings.

2. Smoking and eating in the Court is not allowed.

3. The Judge is in charge of the trial and the Court room and may order the removal of any person who behaves or is dressed inappropriately.

4. The Court has security officers on duty. They are empowered to take reasonable steps in order to maintain safety and order within the Court room.

5. Mobile telephones must be switched off before entering the Court room, failing which they may be removed from the Court room or confiscated until the proceedings are concluded. If a telephone or alarm sounds in the Court room during a hearing, the Judge may make such Order as he or she considers appropriate in the circumstances until proceedings are concluded.

6. Judges and Court staff do not give interviews, news conferences or make out of Court statements in connection with any case or matter before them. Judges speak publicly through their grounds of decisions and rulings, which form part of the trial process, in relation to which appeals may be lodged. It is inappropriate for Judges to be asked to add to or detract from what they have said, other than as part of the trial process itself

7. Court hearings may not be photographed under any circumstances or recorded without prior permission from the Judge or Registry

Protocols

1. All practitioners appearing before Judges in both the DIFC Court of First Instance and Court of Appeal must be robed. If practitioners do not have their own robes, robes will be made available at the DIFC Courts for use by practitioners during hearings in the DIFC Courts. All robes that are borrowed must be returned to the DIFC Courts at the end of the hearing.

2. Practitioners appearing on behalf of their client must complete the attendance sheet available at the reception before the hearing.

3. Practitioners are required to comply strictly with the hearing times. Court sittings will normally start at 10am.

4. The Claimants’ representatives are usually advised to sit on the left side facing the bench and the Defendants’ representatives on the right side.

5. Practitioners are requested to bow on entry to and exit from the Court.

6. Practitioners may address the Judge as “Your Honour”.

7. Practitioners should stand when speaking to the Judge.

8. Documents in a case can be left overnight in the Court room if the hearing is to be continued on the next day.

9. Practitioners must advise their witnesses about how to conduct themselves in Court and may wish to give them the Witness Guide.

If you require clarifications on any of the points above, please contact the Courts’ Registry.

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