DIFC Courts

The Supreme Legislation Committee (SLC) has issued a landmark opinion, emphasising the DIFC Courts’ position as an integral part of Dubai’s judicial and local court system and the Dubai authorities’ recognition of the same.

The SLC has found that the reference in Article 83 of Law No. (6) of 1997 on Contracts of Government Departments to “Dubai Courts” in providing that “the Dubai Courts shall have the jurisdiction to hear any dispute that arises between a government entity and customer…” is not limited to the Dubai Courts, established under Law No. 3 of 1992 and its amendments, but rather encompasses all the courts and judicial committees formed in Dubai under the Emirate’s legislation, regardless of their jurisdiction.

In the SLC’s opinion, since (i) the DIFC Courts is an institution that is considered to be an integral part of Dubai’s Court system; (ii) the scope of its jurisdiction now includes any civil or commercial dispute where the involved parties agree in a clear and express manner that the DIFC Courts shall hear the case (Article 5 (2) of Law no. 12 of 2004, as amended); and (iii) the expression “Dubai Courts” refers to all courts of law established in the Emirate of Dubai including the DIFC Courts; the DIFC Courts have jurisdiction to hear and determine any claim, civil or commercial lawsuit where a government entity is a party, as long as the concerned Government entity has agreed to resort to the DIFC Courts and that the measures and procedures stipulated by Law No. 3 of 1996 on Government Claims and its amendments are taken into account.