DIFC Courts

25 October 2005

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts held its first session today, firmly establishing the first independent judiciary system of its kind in the region. The formal sitting today marks a very significant step for the DIFC in its quest to establish a world class financial centre. The session was chaired by Sir Anthony Evans, Chief Justice of the DIFC Courts and Mr Michael Hwang, who was recently appointed as the Deputy Chief Justice of the DIFC Courts.

Dr Omar Bin Sulaiman, Director General of DIFCA, said:

“Today is a historic day for us. We have firmly established what we set out to create – an international financial centre governed by internationally recognised laws and regulations. The first session of the court reaffirms our status as a unique institution in the region. The DIFC Courts is the most critical and important feature of the DIFC. Financial institutions have the peace of mind knowing that, when they locate in the DIFC, they can rely on regulations which are based on international best practices and have a judicial system with which they are familiar.”

Sir Anthony Evans, commented:

“The DIFC Courts is a novel legal institution. The Courts will administer the rules of international commercial law in respect of transactions and events that take place in this Centre, in Dubai. International norms will be the order of the day at the DIFC Courts. The priority for the DIFC Courts is that they shall be, not only independent, but also readily accessible to the public and accountable to the parties to any dispute that arises within their jurisdiction and to the wider international commercial community beyond.”

Dr Habib Al Mulla, Chairman of Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) congratulating the court, said:

“This is a milestone for the DIFC. The independent judicial system which will cater to all transactions and events within the DIFC is unique to the region and based on international judicial systems and the common law. Today we have witnessed the implementation of the third and most important pillar of the DIFC – a world class judicial system, the others being world-class regulations and world-class legislation.”

Present at the first session were senior officials from the DIFCA, DIFX and DFSA and a number of Dubai-based lawyers. The DIFC Courts proceeding took place at a purpose-built court room in the Gate Building.