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Court Structure


The DIFC Courts will operate a Court of First Instance and a Court of Appeal.

The Court of First Instance shall be comprised of a single Judge and shall have exclusive jurisdiction over:

  • Civil or commercial cases and disputes involving the DIFC, any of the DIFC’s bodies or any of the DIFC’s establishments.
  • Civil or commercial cases and disputes arising from or related to a contract that has been fulfilled or a transaction that has been carried out, in whole or in part, in the DIFC or an incident that has occurred in the DIFC.
  • Objections filed against a decision made by the DIFC’s bodies, which are subject to objection in accordance with the DIFC’s laws and regulations.
  • Any application over which the Courts have jurisdiction in accordance with the DIFC’s laws and regulations.

The Court of Appeal shall be comprised of at least three Judges, with the Chief Justice or most senior Judge presiding and shall have exclusive jurisdiction over:

  • Appeals filed against Judgments and Awards made by the Court of First Instance;
  • Interpretation of any article of the DIFC’s laws based upon the request of any of the DIFC’s bodies or the request of any of the DIFC’s establishments provided that the establishment obtains leave of the Chief Justice in this regard. Such interpretation shall have the power of law.

No appeal shall lie from a decision of the Court of Appeal.

Constitution of the DIFC Courts

The DIFC Courts shall consist of at least four Judges, one of whom shall be the Chief Justice. A person is qualified to be appointed as a Judge if the person is or has been the holder of high judicial office in any jurisdiction recognised by the Government of the United Arab Emirates and the person has significant experience as a qualified lawyer or Judge in the common law system.

The Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice and Judges are appointed by a decree issued by the Ruler of Dubai. The Chief Justice for the DIFC Courts is Justice Tun Zaki Azmi (Malaysia), and the Deputy Chief Justice is H.E. Justice Omar Al Muhairi (UAE). The other judges of the DIFC Courts are, H.E. Justice Ali Shamis Al Madhani (UAE), H.E. Justice Shamlan Al Sawalehi (UAE), Justice Sir Richard Alan Field (UK), Justice Sir Jeremy Cooke (UK), and Justice Judith Prakash (Singapore).

The Chief Justice is responsible for the overall management of the administrative affairs of the DIFC Courts and will preside over all appeals. He will also establish circuits and divisions of the DIFC Courts and appoint its staff and Judicial Officers.


Privacy Policy

The Dubai International Financial Centre Courts and all its affiliates are committed to preserve the confidentiality, integrity and availability of client data and personal information.

Dubai International Financial Centre Courts and all its affiliates employees, vendors, contract workers, shall follow Information Security Management System in all the processes and technology.

  1. DIFC Courts 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 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.


Quality Policy

The DIFC Courts is committed to establishing, implementing, and maintaining a quality management system that is in line with the DIFC Courts’ Vision, Mission and Strategy. The DIFC Courts’ quality management system ensures the implementation of effective policies, procedures and other documented information to achieve efficient work processes and customer centricity.

The senior management of the DIFC Courts are committed to the continual improvement of the quality management system by: