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Author: | Published: 1 Aug 2007

On the official inauguration of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) courts, Michael Hwang SC, their deputy chief justice, said that the courts would develop by looking "to the experience of the other common law countries ... and will arrive at solutions which [they] believe are best for DIFC."

Although only officially inaugurated on April 17 2007, the DIFC courts have been operational since October 2005. In this time the courts have had over 10 sittings and heard a number of substantial disputes.

The DIFC courts operate a two-tier system, with a Court of First Instance and a Court of Appeal. A small-claims tribunal has also been established to hear lower value cases. The DIFC courts conduct proceedings wholly in English, with procedures based on the established model of the English Commercial Court.

The Court of First Instance has exclusive jurisdiction over:

any civil or commercial proceedings brought by any person...