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Practice Direction no. 4 of 2016 Neutral Citation of DIFC Courts Judgments

Practice Direction no. 4 of 2016 Neutral Citation of DIFC Courts Judgments

October 20, 2016





Neutral Citation of DIFC Courts Judgments


This Practice Direction will come into effect on the date of signature. It may be cited as Practice Direction 4 of 2016 Neutral Citation of DIFC Courts Judgments and may be abbreviated to PD 4/2016.

1.This Practice Direction shall apply as regards all judgments of the DIFC Courts, those which have already been issued as well as those which are issued subsequent to it coming into effect.

2. A form of neutral citation will be introduced for judgments issued from the Small Claims Tribunal, Court of First Instance and Court of Appeal of the DIFC Courts.

3. A unique number will be given by the DIFC Courts Registry to each approved judgment issued by the DIFC Courts. The judgments will be numbered in the following way:

Small Claims Tribunal      [2016] DIFC SCT 1,2,3 etc.

Court of First Instance       [2016] DIFC CFI 1,2,3 etc.

Court of Appeal                [2016] DIFC CA 1,2,3 etc.

4. Under these new arrangements, para 29 in Smith v Jones, the twelfth numbered judgment of the year in the DIFC Courts Court of First Instance, would be cited:

Smith v Jones [2016] DIFC CFI 12 at [29].

5. The neutral citation will be the official number attributed to the judgment by the DIFC Courts and will be used on at least one occasion:

(i) when the judgment is cited in a later judgment; and

       (ii) when the judgement is cited in submissions or other documents filed by practitioners.

6. If a judgment is cited on more than one occasion, only one abbreviation (if desired) will be used. Thus Smith v Jones [2016] DIFC CFI 12 could be abbreviated to Smith v Jones, or Smith’s case, but preferably not both in the same judgment or other document.

7. If it is desired to cite more than one paragraph of a judgment each numbered paragraph should be enclosed with a square bracket. Thus: Smith v Jones [2016] DIFC CFI 12 at [35]-[40], or Smith v Jones [2016] DIFC CFI 12 at [35], [40], and [50]-[53].

8. Once the judgment is reported, the citation from the law report series will be used and the neutral citation will appear before that citation.

9. The neutral citation arrangements for judgments may be extended to include other reasoned orders of the DIFC Courts.

10. Where a judgment issued by the DIFC Courts is redacted so as to ensure that parties’ names remain anonymous in the interests of confidentiality, in accordance with PD 3/2016, the neutral names will be used in place of the actual names of the parties within the neutral citation.


Dated this 20 day of October 2016 

Chief Justice Michael Hwang