THE MANDATORY CODE OF CONDUCT FOR LEGALPRACTITIONERS IN THE DIFC COURTS
Part A – Governing Principles
The DIFC Courts (“the Court”) were established to uphold the laws of the DIFC and to advance the rule of law by ensuring the just and effective resolution of disputes within the Court’s jurisdiction. The DIFC Dispute Resolution Authority (DRA) Academy of Law was formed by the President of the DIFC through Resolution 3 of 2014, and following the issue of DRA Order No. 2 of 2015 has taken over responsibility for the ancillary legal services previously provided by the DIFC Courts, including the registration of practitioners and the promotion and maintenance of legal professional ethics. By registering with the Academy of Law to practise in the Court, each individual registered legal practitioner (“Practitioner”) undertakes to act with integrity and independence in support of the Court and the wider community that it serves.
The right of any Practitioner to practise in the Court is conditional upon:
(i) observance of this Mandatory Code of Conduct together with any Supplementary Code of Conduct Practice Direction (“Supplement”) issued periodically by the Chief Justice (together “the Code”);
(ii) recognition of the Court’s power to refuse to permit a specific Practitioner to represent a party (or continue to represent a party) where, in the opinion of the judge hearing the matter, the integrity of the process would be threatened by that Practitioner’s representation of the party or the fair administration of justice in accordance with the Overriding Objective at Part 1.5 of the Rules of the DIFC Courts (“the Rules”) would be put in peril;
(iii) recognition of the Court’s and the Academy of Law’s power to suspend, terminate or place conditions on a Practitioner’s registration in the circumstances set out at Part G below; and
(iv) recognition of the Court’s and the Academy of Law’s power to sanction any breach of the Code as provided for at Part F below.
For the purposes of the Code, practice in the Court includes the issue and conduct of proceedings as well as advocacy.
Part B – Duties Owed to the Court
Part C – Duties Owed to Clients
Part C-8 shall also apply to any law firm to which the Practitioner belongs.
Part D – Duties Owed to Other Practitioners
Part E – General Duties
Part F – Sanctions for Breach of the Code
(2) The Court may impose a combination of sanctions. Any sanction other than a Private Admonition shall be published by the Academy of Law together with a summary of the complaint and the names of the Complainant and the Practitioner.
(3) When imposing any sanction other than a Private Admonition, the Academy of Law may notify the fact to any Bar Association or similar body responsible for the supervision or regulation of the Practitioner concerned.
(4) Save where the Court of Appeal orders otherwise, the Court may stay the implementation of any sanction and/or direct that its decision shall be kept confidential, for a period not exceeding 60 clear days from the date it was issued.
Part G – Matters Affecting Registration
(a) Has been sentenced to a term of imprisonment in respect of any civil or criminal proceedings in Dubai or elsewhere;
(b) Has been convicted of an offence involving dishonesty or fraud in Dubai or elsewhere;
(c) Has been convicted of an offence in relation to his conduct in his practice of law in Dubai or elsewhere;
(d) As a result of a bankruptcy order made against him, is prohibited by the relevant bankruptcy law from having charge of clients’ moneys;
(e) Has been found guilty by any Court or Tribunal outside the DIFC having jurisdiction over his conduct as a practising lawyer (whether in Dubai or elsewhere) of a violation of a code of professional ethics applicable to him;
(f) Is incapacitated by illness or accident, or by the Practitioner’s physical or mental condition, to such extent as to be unable to attend to his practice;
(g) Is incapable of conducting cases in court as advocate either because of difficulties with the English language or by reason of a lack of appropriate litigation expertise;
(h) Has stolen or otherwise improperly dealt with clients’ moneys.
a judge of the Court, if satisfied that any of the above conditions has been met, may on the application of an officer of the Registry make an order:-
(i) Suspending the Practitioner from exercising his rights as a registered Practitioner for an appropriate period; or
(ii) Imposing conditions with which the Practitioner must comply on a continuing basis in order to remain enrolled on the Register of Practitioners; or
(iii) Terminating the right of the Practitioner to remain enrolled on the Register of Practitioners.
(2) An order made under Part G-33 (1) may be reviewed or, at its discretion, the application for the order may be re-heard, by the Court of Appeal on the application of the Practitioner.
(3) Save where the Court of Appeal orders otherwise, the Court may stay the implementation of its order and/or direct that its order shall be kept confidential, for a period not exceeding 60 clear days from the date it was issued.
 Revised by DRA Order No. 1 of 2016 on 22 March 2016
 Or one of the officers of the Academy of Law.
 All references to the masculine gender in the Code shall be read as including the feminine gender.
 This may be done through the Academy of Law.
 “Private admonition” shall include for the purposes of this Code the issuing of redacted judgments for the benefit of the local legal community.
 Private admonitions may be published, with the names of the parties having been redacted.
The Dubai International Financial Centre and all its affiliates are committed to preserve the confidentiality, integrity and availability of client data and personal information.
Dubai International Financial Centre and all its affiliates employees, vendors, contract workers, shall follow Information Security Management System in all the processes and technology.
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