DUBAI, 6 November 2012 – Next week the DIFC Courts, Dubai’s renowned English language, common law judicial system and Thomson Reuters, the world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals, will launch the DIFC Courts’ Academy – an institution which will run English language training courses for common law practitioners in the Middle East.
The DIFC Courts’ Academy will provide practitioners, including those with a civil law background, with enhanced knowledge and understanding of English common law and court procedures that are applied in the DIFC Courts. Each training course will run for 10 weeks and will result in participant certification.
The first course begins on 11 November 2012, when the inaugural lecture takes place. This course has already been fully subscribed and the next one will begin on 15 April 2013.
In September this year His Highness Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum launched the Maktoum bin Mohammed Al Maktoum Initiatives for Legal Excellence – a platform for advancing the knowledge and skills of those working in the Emirate’s judicial system and to stimulate entrepreneurship in the UAE legal sector. The DIFC Academy is one of these initiatives. The initial Academy course leads to a Certificate in DIFC Courts’ Laws and Procedures, and comprises a set of two modules which will be taught in collaboration with leading common law practitioners who regularly pursue applications and appear before the DIFC Courts. The modules will introduce DIFC Courts’ Laws and laws related to companies and contracts, as well as filing a claim and case management, disclosure, witness and expert evidence and going to trial. For the duration of the course participants will have complimentary access to Thomson Reuters Westlaw, an online legal research service for lawyers and legal professionals, and complete governance, risk and compliance news and regulatory updates.
“The Academy is a first step in encouraging wider training in common law in the Emirates,” commented Michael Hwang, Chief Justice of the DIFC Courts: “We particularly want to grow the number of Emirati advocates registered with us – and we see the Academy as a vital first step in developing the necessary expertise and understanding. I am happy to formally launch the DIFC Courts’ Academy – a virtual college for the development of common law and common law procedures in the Emirate of Dubai.”
“We are delighted to partner with the DIFC Courts on this leading educational project,” said Russell Haworth, managing director, Middle East & North Africa at Thomson Reuters. “This partnership confirms Thomson Reuters’ role in bringing greater transparency and stronger governance to the fore, in particular in the areas of justice and human rights across MENA markets.”