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UAE DIFC Courts launches Digital economy court

The Dubai International Financial Centre Courts has launched a ‘Specialised Court for the Digital Economy’ aimed at simplifying the settlement process of complex civil and commercial disputes related to the digital economy. The digital economy court will deal with national and international disputes related to current and emerging technologies. It will cover a wide variety of fields including big data, blockchain technologies, artificial intelligence, cloud services, unmanned aerial vehicles, 3D printing technologies, and robotics.

His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and President of the Dubai International Financial Centre, emphasised that the rollout of the new court represents a groundbreaking move to stay abreast of the ever-evolving and thriving global digital economy. The court will be supported by highly qualified human resources, a solid and highly reliable infrastructure, and research and development in the technology sector. His Highness affirmed, “The infrastructure of our courts in Dubai will keep pace with our future economic aspirations.”

His Highness also highlighted that the launch of the new court gives an impetus to efforts to develop a new judicial support system capable of meeting the requirements of the digital transformation process and adoption of up-to-date technologies. His Highness said: “The goal of the Judicial System and Courts in Dubai is to deliver prompt justice in a country where the law prevails.”

With the continuous growth of digital transformation across the world, trade and services inevitably integrate digital technology in their fundamental operations. Now, more than ever an innovative judicial system is key to promoting growth as well as providing security, reliability, and protection for companies and businesses.

The new international digital economy court is a pivotal step in achieving the UAE’s vision and strategy for the next 50 years. His Highness stressed that the digital economy sector plays a significant role in enhancing people’s quality of life.
DIFC Courts is in the process of appointing eminent judicial experts to operate and supervise the digital infrastructure and advanced service capabilities of the Specialised Court. The new court will start providing services in the first quarter of 2022.

The ‘Specialised Court for the Digital Economy’ will complement specialised divisions in existing courts including the Technology and Construction Division and the Arbitration Division. These were launched by the DIFC Courts to meet the increasing demand for judicial expertise in cases related to specific sectors.
In early 2022, the new court will be assigning a group of international lawyers and industry experts to draft and approve new rules for the Digital Economy Court, which will then be issued after a 30-day public consultation campaign.

Judge Omar Al Muhairi, Director of the Courts of the Dubai International Financial Centre said, “The potential of the UAE’s judicial systems to support and protect the continuity of business projects will prove to be extremely vital to the country’s long-term goals of attracting and retaining foreign investment. Dubai’s well-grounded commitment to strengthen a highly competitive business environment is key to its vision of deep-rooted economic diversification.”

“The launch of the new specialised Court shows Dubai’s determination to play a leading and pioneering role in developing judicial systems that simplify dispute settlement related to the digital economy,” Al Muhairi added. “We will utilise the most advanced technologies to increase the efficiency of the system and ensure that the public will benefit from its services. This court is the first of its kind in the world offering new and exciting innovations that will provide the best avenues to access justice, not only for companies operating in the UAE but for international companies seeking a fair jurisdiction.” he furthered.

In preparation for the fast-growing digital economy, the UAE government announced several initiatives to create a strategic roadmap for the country’s future. This includes the formation of a working group of government and business leaders tasked with developing a post-pandemic action plan for accelerating digital economy growth, driven by innovation and creativity.

Established in 2004, the DIFC Courts introduced an international common law court system in Dubai that became a part of the UAE legal system. The goal was to increase the international community’s trust in the UAE legal system and strengthen the global investment and trading community’s relationship with Dubai and the UAE as a whole.

The jurisdiction of the DIFC Courts was expanded to include international companies in 2011. This allowed any two parties from anywhere in the world to have their cases heard in the DIFC Courts.

In 2017, DIFC Courts, in partnership with the Dubai Future Foundation, launched the ‘Future Courts’ research centre to study new legal techniques and conduct research to promote contemporary methods that can improve access to court services around the world.
DIFC has empowered the Courts to advance their major technology projects under the Courts of the Future. They have pooled talent and resources from global partners and experts in the fields of law, technology and business to help court systems absorb and benefit from emerging technologies.

Dubai Media office website

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