About Small Claims Tribunal
The Small Claims Tribunal was established on 30th October 2007 by the Chief Justice in accordance with DIFC Law No. 10 of 2004 (the DIFC Courts Law) as a Tribunal of the DIFC Courts with power to hear and determine claims within the jurisdiction of the DIFC Courts (please see below regarding the type of claims that may be filed). Lodging a Small Claims Tribunal (“SCT”) case could not be simpler. Short Claim Form can be easily completed in person at the DIFC Courts, via fax, or online at the DIFC Courts’ website (please click here for further instructions on filing a claim). Claimants should be sure to provide a summary of the remedy being sought and the reasons for claiming entitlement to this remedy on their application and a statement of the monetary value of the small claim. Claims in the Small Claims Tribunal are subject to the DIFC Courts Rules, especially Part 53 (available here). 90% of cases are resolved within four weeks at the Small Claims Tribunal, a track record maintained since 2007. Jurisdiction: Cases filed within the SCT must fall under the DIFC Courts’ jurisdiction and must fall into the SCT’s specific jurisdiction. The DIFC Courts only have the power to hear cases which are civil or commercial in nature and which involve:
1) Bodies of the DIFC or any DIFC registered establishments;
2) Disputes arising from or relating to contracts involving the DIFC; or
3) Disputes in which the parties have consented to DIFC Courts’ jurisdiction.
Parties are also able to opt-in to the DIFC Courts’ Jurisdiction. For more information, please refer to DIFC Courts Practice Direction No. 1 of 2015. The SCT currently operates to hear claims within the jurisdiction of the DIFC where:
The SCT will hear and determine claims within the jurisdiction of the DIFC Courts:
(1) where the amount of the claim or the value of the subject matter of the claim does not exceed AED 500,000 or;
(2) where the claim relates to the employment or former employment of a party; and all parties elect in writing that it be heard by the SCT (there is no value limit for the SCT’s elective jurisdiction in the context of employment claims); or
(3) which do not fall within the provisions of sub-paragraphs (1) or (2) above, but in respect of which:
(a) the amount of the claim or the value of the subject matter of the claim does not exceed AED 1,000,000; and
(b) all parties to the claim elect in writing that it be heard by the SCT, and such election is made in the underlying contract (if any) or subsequent to execution of that contract
(4) such other claims as may be ordered or directed by the Chief Justice to be heard by the SCT from time to time.
Filing fee as mentioned below:
- (A) Employment claims
- (1) The fee for filing an employment claim shall be 2% of the value of the claim with a minimum fee of USD 100.
- (2) The fee for filing an appeal to the CFI following an employment claim in the SCT shall be 1% of the value of the claim with a minimum fee of USD 100.
- (B) All other claims
- (1) The fee for filing all other claims shall be 5% of the value of the claim with a minimum fee of USD 100.
- (2) The fee for filing an appeal to the CFI following any other claim in the SCT shall be 2.5% of the value of the claim with a minimum fee of USD 100.
- (C) Applications
- (1) Applications seeking a fee waiver or suspension shall be free of charge.
- (2) The fee for all other applications shall be USD 50
- For a claim made by way of counterclaim, the same fee shall be payable as if the relief or remedy sought were the subject of separate proceedings.
- The SCT Registrar shall have the discretion to defer, reduce, or waive applicable fees in the SCT if the SCT Registrar, in his/her sole discretion, considers it appropriate in the circumstances.
Please see flow chart outlining the procedure for filing a claim