DIFC Courts

First-ever intellectual partnership between Dubai’s DIFC Courts and Canada’s McGill University Faculty of Law to train future jurists 

Dubai, United Arab Emirates; 14 May 2018: Dubai’s DIFC Courts and Canada’s McGill University Faculty of Law today announced the first-ever clerkship programme, a joint initiative in the Middle East to train future judges to operate across multiple legal systems.

Through the intensive programme, budding jurists are cross-trained in civil and common law codes, fostering the core skills needed to address the sort of complex international disputes that are increasingly handled by global courts.

In parallel with its ten-year rise to the position of one of the world’s leading commercial courts, DIFC Courts has emerged as the region’s hub for judicial and legal training excellence, with a special focus on so-called “trans-systemic” law – preparing lawyers and judges to work across the world’s jurisdictions. DIFC Academy of Law, working in tandem with DIFC Courts, already offers courses that bridge the gap between the civil and common law systems that co-exist in the United Arab Emirates.

Amna Al Owais, Chief Executive & Registrar, DIFC Courts, said: “This programme with McGill demonstrates that Dubai is becoming a new destination for top Canadian law students to broaden their legal skills. We believe that globalisation drives courts like ours to innovate through trans-systemic thinking to benefit international businesses seeking dispute resolution worldwide, both now and in the future. As technology shrinks the distances between the world’s markets, entrepreneurs and investors should be able to choose courts that can provide certainty based on this innovative legal knowledge.”

Starting in May, the first clerkship has been awarded to third-year McGill University law student, Viva Dadwal, with the backing of the Consulate General of Canada and Air Canada.

McGill University Faculty of Law’s inaugural clerkship student, Viva Dadwal, said: “I am thrilled to have been selected for this new clerkship. For a student who is interested in learning about different legal codes at an international and commercial level, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to gain exposure to how global courts operate. I look forward to working with legal thinkers at DIFC Courts, who are designing the courts of the future and understanding how we develop global practices to deliver legal services in pursuit of justice.” 

The Clerkship initiative was announced during a Canadian Business Council seminar hosted by the DIFC Courts. Addressing the future trade, representatives from Dubai FDI and the Consulate General of Canada discussed the role of UAE-Canadian commerce into global trade hubs, ranging from the UAE to China.

His Excellency Emmanuel Kamarianakis, Consul General of Canada, said: “The Consulate General of Canada was pleased to facilitate the partnership between DIFC Courts and McGill University to offer a clerkship in trans-systemic law. For more than 150 years, Canada’s legal system has been based on common law and civil law. This legal pluralism is very much a reflection and celebration of Canada’s diversity. As trade and investment continue to globalise, Canadian educational institutions are not only well positioned to train lawyers who understand how to navigate and reconcile multiple legal traditions but are also at the forefront of creating new and innovative legal structures.” 

Deepu Cyriac, Country Manager, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar & Oman, Air Canada, said: “Air Canada is delighted to share partnership with McGill University & DIFC Courts for this clerkship programme. Air Canada started non-stop service from Dubai to Toronto since 2015 and over the years we always noticed a good growth of students travelling between Dubai to different universities in Canada. This partnership is a great opportunity to promote Air Canada’s non-stop service from Dubai & strengthen UAE & Canada relationship at youth and education level.”