A panel of international lawyers and experts in the industry were assigned to draft new specialised rules for the new court. Image Credit: Supplied

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts on Wednesday announced the launch of the world’s first International Digital Economy Court.

Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the UAE, and President of DIFC said: “The DIFC Courts continue to introduce innovative initiatives to provide Dubai, the UAE, and the world, with a suite of dispute resolution services that go beyond traditional public court services. The world’s first International Digital Economy Court will enhance the ability of global companies and institutions operating in the digital economy to adapt to the future requirements of this fast -growing sector.”

Sheikh Maktoum said the court will provide the optimal legislative environment for boosting the stability, sustainability and growth of digital economy enterprises.

A panel of international lawyers and experts in the industry were assigned to draft new specialised rules for the International Digital Economy Court and develop standardised smart forms for processing information through a dynamic, artificial intelligence-driven platform. In line with the courts’ paperless mandate, cases will also be conducted using advanced digital systems.

In 2021, the DIFC Courts established its Digital Economy Court Division to oversee complex national and transnational disputes related to current and emerging technologies across areas ranging from big data, blockchain, AI, fintech and cloud services, to disputes involving unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), 3D printing and robotics.

Justice Omar Al Mheiri, Director, DIFC Courts, said: “With the digital economy fast emerging as a prime accelerant of global business, the specialised rules for the International Digital Economy Court have been designed to strengthen our mission of building a courts system that can not only cater to current dispute resolution needs, but also address and resolve new emerging disputes. This strategy has been further reinforced by combining leading judicial expertise with the deployment of innovative technologies.”

In 2022, the DIFC Courts issued a judgment related to one of the first cryptocurrency litigation disputes in the region and one of the few reported cases in the world that address issues such as the safe transfer of cryptocurrency between buyer and seller and the obligations of a custodian of cryptocurrency.

Established in 2004, the DIFC Courts is Dubai’s international English language common law judicial system and forms a key part of the legal system of the UAE. It was established with the specific objective of raising the trust of the international community in the UAE’s legal framework and further strengthening investment and trade.