DIFC Courts

Dubai, United Arab Emirates; 30 October 2019: The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts has signed a cooperation agreement with the Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) to launch the world’s first Court Tech Lab.

In exploring how judicial systems can be strengthened through technology, the Court Tech Lab will unite individuals and companies helping to prototype and launch the advancement of legal technology, such as Blockchain powered initiatives, AI enabled programmes and cloud-based solutions.

The Tech Lab will be mandated to help cultivate those ideas by running a yearly competition cycle, helping to raise support and capital for companies demonstrating promising breakthroughs in the arena of court tech. Harnessing the established framework and talent pool from DFF’s AREA 2071 ecosystem, the competition will invite start-ups, scale-ups and innovative SME participants to submit and present new and viable court tech solutions.

Shortlisted finalists will have the opportunity to showcase their innovative solution to a panel of private sector technology partners, as well as officials from the DIFC Courts and the Dubai Future Foundation. The final chosen concept will then receive financial investment, as well as access to the DIFC Courts to research, test and adapt the technology solution.

H.E. Omar Al Muhairi, Deputy Chief Justice, DIFC Courts, said: “Thinking through the judicial implications of emerging technologies is a key priority for the DIFC Courts. This new initiative, under the guidance of the Courts of the Future, will help unlock the power of these same innovations to transform the experience of using a court for the end-user, the legal sector and the judiciary itself.”

H.E. Khalfan Juma Belhoul, CEO, Dubai Future Foundation (DFF), said: “The MoU signed today represents yet another milestone for the Dubai Future Foundation as it reinforces the power of collaboration between the government, private sector and start-ups to create an ecosystem that drives innovation. By leveraging disruptive innovation and emerging technologies, the Court Tech lab, aims to revolutionise the judicial system, further positioning Dubai’s role as a leading city of the future.”

Technology has been central to the DIFC Courts’ operating model since starting operations in 2006. Among the many technologies the courts have pioneered to increase access to justice, is the state-of-the-art e-filing system, as well as the region’s first ‘paperless’ e-bundling solution in 2018.

The Courts of the Future was launched by the DIFC Courts and the Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) in 2017 with a mandate to explore diverse legal tech. topic areas and to provide research and thought leadership on promoting and encouraging contemporary methods of greater accessibility and efficiency to court users across the globe.

This think tank has enabled the DIFC Courts to streamline its major legal tech. projects under the Court of the Future, pooling talent and resources from global partners and experts across the fields of law, technology, IT and business, assembled to help legal systems accommodate the accelerating growth of technology.

In 2018, launched as an initiative under the Courts of the Future, the DIFC Courts partnered with Smart Dubai to create the world’s first Court of the Blockchain. Building on existing dispute resolution services, the alliance is exploring how to aid verification of court judgments for cross-border enforcement. The partnership is the first step in creating a blockchain-powered future for the judiciary which will have far-reaching benefits, including streamlining the judicial process, removing document duplications, and driving greater efficiencies across the entire legal ecosystem.

Launched in 2017, AREA 2071 is a space and ecosystem purposefully designed to deeply connect corporates, governments, start-ups, investors, the youth, and the public in order to co-create the future.

For more information about all initiatives under the Courts of the Future, please visit www.courtsofthefuture.org