The Dubai International Financial Centre, DIFC, Courts on Monday revealed its key figures for the full year 2017, with a volume of 520 cases across all divisions, delivering steady growth for the English-language common law courts.
Claims at the main Court of First Instance, CFI, increased to 54, up 17 percent year-on-year, with the settlement rate increasing from 83 to 88 percent. In addition, enforcement claims rose to AED3.4 billion from AED2.75 billion in 2016 a 26 percent year-on-year increase.
Chief Justice of DIFC Courts, Michael Hwang, said, "Our success as a jurisdiction of choice for businesses and individuals is due to the high quality of our bench and the value of service through judgements, both of which contribute to local and global trust and confidence. We are mid-way through our five-year strategy and will maintain our rate of progress, channelling our energy and drive for excellence into our ambition to be one of the most service-oriented and connected courts in the world. Through ongoing work in 2018, we will continue to provide a more efficient, multi-pronged, and holistic suite of services for dispute resolution."
The value of Small Claims Tribunal, SCT, claims and counterclaims increased 75 percent in 2017, to AED36.2 million from AED20.7 million in 2016. The settlement rate for the award-winning SCT also rose to 85 percent a 10 percent increase from 2016. In a move designed to help people and businesses resolve disputes more quickly, in 2017 the DIFC Courts' SCT also introduced a mechanism to allow claimants the option to use direct and instant messaging to give defendants notice as part of an expanded range of e-services.
Amna Al Owais, Chief Executive and Registrar, DIFC Courts, said, "In 2017, DIFC Courts continued to strengthen relationships with local institutions across Dubai and the UAE, as well as forge more agreements with the world's most respected civil and common law jurisdictions, developing greater recognition of our Courts throughout the commercial world. As a preferred or exclusive default jurisdiction for dispute resolution, we have been trusted to settle the region's landmark commercial disputes for a decade. Our primary objective is to enable business certainty through a court system that delivers fair and efficient justice."
In line with the goal of being the world's most connected judicial system, the DIFC Courts continued to formalise new partnerships with legal systems at home and abroad throughout 2017. Within the UAE these included the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department and the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre. In Asia and Africa, successful partnerships were completed with the Federal Court of Malaysia, the Hangzhou Arbitration Commission and the High Court of Zambia.