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DIFC Publishes Draft Rules Of Court

by Lorys Charalambous, for, Cyprus

14 December 2006

The DIFC Judicial Authority has announced the publication of draft Rules of Court under Article 31 of the DIFC Court Law 2004, and has invited interested persons to make representations with respect to these draft rules by 11th January.

The rules will provide a basic civil procedural code sufficient to deal with the substantial majority of claims likely to be brought before the Court of First Instance and Court of Appeal. The public consultation period will run for 30 days, and the rules are available for public viewing on the DIFC Courts website at

Commenting on the draft laws, Dr Omar Bin Sulaiman, Governor of the DIFC observed: “The publication of the rules marks a crucial stage in the development of the DIFC Courts. Furthermore, this action highlights the transparency and integrity of the DIFC and enables the wider community to participate in the evolution of the DIFC’s legal system, establishing itself as a jurisdiction with the highest international standards and best legal practices.”

Sir Anthony Evans, Chief Justice of the DIFC Courts added: “With the draft Rules of Court, we have endeavoured to balance ease of use with practical guidance for the practitioners in the DIFC Courts who come from diverse legal backgrounds. We believe these rules contain provisions that will be familiar to local and global practitioners and their clients, and will represent international best practice across the board. I would warmly encourage all interested parties to consider the draft Rules of Court and provide input as they see necessary.”

The draft Rules of Court are modelled on the English Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) as at October 2006 and the English Admiralty and Commercial Court Guide, 6th Edition. The CPR were a product of wide consultation and an examination of international best practice. The Guide aims to provide practical guidance for users of a court that has been serving the international business community for over 110 years.

The draft rules have been modified where necessary, for example with provisions derived from the IBA Rules, which are widely recognised as representing an acceptable compromise between Civil Law and Common Law. In the event that the draft Rules do not cover a particular situation, the procedure will be undertaken in accordance with the Rules of DIFC Court (Interim Arrangements) Order No 1 of 2005.

The DIFC Courts, an independent judicial system dealing with matters arising from and within the DIFC, were established under the laws enacted by the Ruler of Dubai in December 2004. The DIFC Courts are led by Chief Justice, Sir Anthony Evans, and Deputy Chief Justice, Mr. Michael Hwang SC.

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