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DIFC Courts’ Asian network grows with South Korean memorandum

DIFC Courts’ Asian network grows with South Korean memorandum

November 5, 2015

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Agreement covering enforcement of money judgments signed with Supreme Court of Korea

Dubai, United Arab Emirates; 05 November 2015: The DIFC Courts’ growing framework of cooperation agreements with commercial courts in Asia took a significant step forward today with the signing of a memorandum with the Supreme Court of Korea. The document, which covers the mutual enforcement of money judgments, was signed in Seoul by Michael Hwang, Chief Justice of the DIFC Courts and Justice PARK Byoung-dae, Minister of National Court Administration of the Supreme Court of Korea.

The UAE and South Korea are major trading partners, with bilateral trade estimated to be worth US$7 billion in 2014. Major exports from the UAE include oil and petroleum products and aluminium, while electronics, steel goods, textiles and vehicles are imported in significant numbers from South Korea.  The two countries also have strong links in areas such as education, healthcare and renewable energy.

DIFC Courts Chief Justice Michael Hwang said: “Asia is a hugely important market for companies in the Middle East, which is why we have prioritised establishing formal links with court systems in the region. We are delighted to establish formal links with one of the powerhouses of the world economy and look forward to working with the Supreme Court of Korea to support this important trade corridor.”

The memorandum offers companies operating in the UAE and South Korea additional certainty about the strength of a contract by setting out the procedures for the mutual enforcement of money judgments.

Justice PARK Byoung-dae, Minister of National Court Administration of the Supreme Court of Korea added: “With trade ties between South Korea and the UAE becoming ever stronger, it is important that the commercial legal systems cooperate and align their procedures for enforcing judgments. Our agreement with the DIFC Courts achieves this objective and will provide additional confidence to companies and investors operating in our two countries.”

This is the second cooperation agreement signed in 2015 by the DIFC Courts and a judiciary in Asia, following a similar memorandum with the Supreme Court of Singapore.

Since their jurisdiction was opened to businesses worldwide in October 2011, the DIFC Courts have established one of the world’s strongest enforcement regimes. Their judgments can be enforced internationally through treaties such as the GCC Protocol and Riyadh Convention; treaties with China and France; and arrangements with many common law courts overseas, including the Commercial Court of England and Wales, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, the Federal Court of Australia, the New South Wales Supreme Court, the High Court of Kenya (Commercial and Admiralty Division), and the Supreme Court of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

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