IN THE DUBAI INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL CENTRE
PRACTICE DIRECTION NO. 3 OF 2015
Review of DIFC Courts Officer and Registrar Decisions
This Practice Direction will come into effect on the date of signature. It may be cited as Practice Direction 3 of 2015 – Review of DIFC Courts Officer and Registrar Decisions – and may be abbreviated to PD 3/2015.
1. Judicial officers, case progression officers and staff (“hereinafter Court officers”)1 , alongside Registrars2 of the DIFC Courts may, in the course of their functions, examine and issue decisions which are judicial in nature in respect of applications3 lodged before the Courts.
2. Where a Court officer or Registrar of the Courts has delivered a judicial decision4 in accordance with paragraph 1 above, a party to the application may request that the matter be reconsidered de novo5 by a judge of the DIFC Courts6.
3. In the reconsideration of the application in accordance with paragraph 2 above, the judge shall in no way be bound by the preceding decision of the Court Officer or Registrar as the case may be 7. It is open to the judge to either: (i) confirm; or (ii) quash and replace the decision against which a de novo review has been sought.
4. The general rule is that a judge will carry out such reconsideration on the papers followed by an immediate assessment of costs, unless there is good reason not to do so.
5. A request for a de novo review should be submitted by way of a Part 23 application. Unless the Court orders otherwise, such a request should be filed and served within 3 working days after the Court Officer or Registrar decision sought to be reviewed has been issued, accompanied by brief reasons for the application. Any reply to the request should be filed within a further 3 working days, following which the Court shall endeavour to issue a decision within 5 working days. Within 2 working days of the filing of any reply, each party to the request is to file and serve statements of costs.
6. A request for a de novo review in accordance with the provisions of this Practice Direction will not have the effect of staying the execution of a judgment or order unless the Court directs otherwise.
Dated this day of XX 2015
Chief Justice Michael Hwang
1. appointed by the Chief Justice in accordance with Article 14 (1)(c) of the DIFC Court Law (DIFC Law No. 10 of 2004) and authorized by RDC 3.14 to perform acts of a formal or administrative character in their capacity as Court Officers – defined in the Schedule to Part 2 of the RDC as encompassing “any member of the Court staff.”
2. taken in this context to mean the Registrar, the Deputy Registrar and Assistant Registrar of the DIFC Courts – appointed under Article 16 of the DIFC Court Law and authorized under Article 17 of the DIFC Court Law and RDC 3.1, together with the judges, to perform functions of the Courts, except insofar as any enactment, Rule or Practice Direction provides otherwise.
3. this includes application notices, or any other documents in which the applicant seeks a court order or direction
4. this shall include case progression decisions taken in the course of the Registry’s functioning which are judicial in nature
5. in effect a full reconsideration
6. appointed in accordance with Article 3(4) of the Judicial Authority Law (Law no. 12 of 2004, in respect of the Judicial Authority at Dubai International Financial Centre, as amended), and Article 9 of the DIFC Court Law 2004
7. the judge’s discretion in considering the application is unfettered. However, in instances in which the Court Officer or Registrar who first considered the application has had the benefit of hearing oral evidence, the judge reviewing the application de novo should have due regard to the Court Officer or Registrar’s findings, given that they had the benefit of assessing the oral evidence firsthand.