DIFC Courts

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Judicial Cooperation between the Shanghai High People’s Court and DIFC Courts.

What you need to know:

Who signed the agreement?
The agreement is between DIFC Courts and Shanghai High People’s Court, and has been reviewed and approved by the Supreme People’s Court.

When and where was it signed?
The MoU was signed on 26th October, 2016, one day before Dubai Week in China, at a closed ceremony at the Shanghai High People’s Court.

Why is the MoU significant?
The agreement is a first: the first time that the Shanghai High People’s Court has signed a cooperation agreement with a foreign court. The agreement therefore represents a milestone supporting the “One Belt and Road” initiative.

What is the cooperation agreement about?
The agreement strengthens bilateral collaboration between the two courts, paving the way for the judiciaries to work together more closely as commercial courts. Increased cooperation will in practice lead to increased certainty for businesses using Shanghai and DIFC Courts.

What is the commercial importance of the agreement?
Shanghai High People’s Court has jurisdiction over one of the country’s most dynamic commercial hubs. In 2015, Shanghai’s total GDP reached approximately Rm 2530 bn.

When did work on the agreement start?
DIFC Courts visited Shanghai High People’s Court, Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court and Shanghai Free Trade Zone Court in 2015.


DIFC Courts Chief Justice Michael Hwang (left), and Shanghai High People’s Court Vice-President Sheng Yongqiang