Skip to Content

A Day in the Life with SCT Judge Natasha Bakirci

A Day in the Life with SCT Judge Natasha Bakirci

December 24, 2017


Natasha Bakirci is Assistant Registrar of the DIFC Courts and a SCT Judge. A qualified lawyer, she joined the Courts in 2012 following five years with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Here, Natasha explains what it is like to mediate and adjudicate a case before the SCT.

What is a typical day like for a SCT Judge?
A typical morning spent preparing for a Hearing involves checking all the submitted files and ensuring that the correct documentation is in place. A Hearing will then typically last for between 1-2.5 hours, with the rest of the day spent drafting the resulting Judgment or Order, preparing for the next case, and handling ad-hoc enquiries that come into the Tribunal.

What is the best thing about being a SCT Judge?
First and foremost, you are helping people to solve problems that while relatively small in scale might have a major impact on their lives or business. Being able to help parties resolve a bitter dispute in a matter of weeks and in complete confidence offers a lot of job satisfaction. We also deal with a wide variety of disputes, from employment cases through to disputes between companies, so every case brings a different challenge.

And what are the biggest challenges you face in the job?
Parties usually represent themselves in SCT cases, with the absence of lawyers actually helping to speed up the process. However, if the case is very emotive, parties sometimes struggle to fully articulate their arguments, which can lead to delays. Similarly, if parties fail to submit the correct documents, or submit them in a disorganised fashion, the case can be delayed needlessly.

What qualities make a good SCT judge?
First, you need to have empathy. You are dealing with people who are often under a great deal of stress and being able to understand their position is an essential part of the process.
Second, you must be impartial. You must listen to both parties and consider all the relevant information before forming any opinions and making any decisions.
Third, you need to be flexible. While a financial settlement is the most obvious settlement, there may be many more other solutions that might actually lead to better outcomes for both parties.

How can someone become a SCT mediator or Judge?
Mediators oversee the Consultation phase, where the emphasis is on finding an amicable settlement. SCT mediators typically have a background in law or a profession like chartered surveying. Since you are seeking to resolve disputes between people, a good level of both professional and real life experience is essential to being a good mediator. Training and certification is also available through organisations like the UK’s Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

If an amicable solution cannot be found at the Consultation stage, the case will progress to a Hearing before a SCT Judge, who will assess the legal merits of the case. DIFC Courts Registrars can serve as SCT Judges as they are legally qualified and sufficiently experienced.



Privacy Policy

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.

  1. DIFC Courts's Top Management is committed to secure information of all our interested parties.
  2. Information security controls the policies, processes, and measures that are implemented by DIFC Courts in order to mitigate risks to an acceptable level, and to maximize opportunities in order to achieve its information security objectives.
  3. DIFC Courts and all its affiliates shall adopt a systematic approach to risk assessment and risk treatment.
  4. DIFC Courts is committed to provide information security awareness among team members and evaluate the competency of all its employees.
  5. DIFC Courts and all its affiliates shall protect personal information held by them in all its form.
  6. DIFC Courts and all its affiliates shall comply with all regulatory, legal and contractual requirements.
  7. DIFC Courts and all its affiliates shall provide a comprehensive Business Continuity Plan encompassing the locations within the scope of the ISMS.
  8. Information shall be made available to authorised persons as and when required.
  9. DIFC Courts’s Top Management is committed towards continual improvement in information security in all our processes through regular review of our information security management system.


The content of the DIFC Courts website is provided for information purposes only and should be disregarded when making decisions on inheritance and any other matters. Whilst every reasonable effort is made to make the information and commentary accurate and up to date, the DIFC Courts makes no warranties or representations to you as to the accuracy, authenticity or completeness of the content on this website, which is subject to change at any time without notice. The information and commentary does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice by the DIFC Courts or any person employed or connected with it or formerly so employed or connected, to any person on any matter, be it in relation to inheritance, succession planning or otherwise. You are strongly advised to obtain specific, personal advice from a suitably qualified lawyer in relation to your personal circumstances and your objectives. The DIFC Courts does not assume any liability and shall not be liable to you for any damages, including but not limited to, direct or indirect, special, incidental or consequential damages, losses or expenses arising in connection with this website, its administration and any content or lack thereof found on it. The information on this web site is not to be displayed except in full screen format. Although care has been taken to provide links to suitable material from this site, no guarantee can be given about the suitability, completeness or accuracy of any of the material that this site may be linked to or other material on the internet. The DIFC Courts cannot accept any responsibility for the content of material that may be encountered therein.