Abu Dhabi Court (Representational image) Image Credit: Gulf News

After much publicity, the UAE’s and the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department’s (ADJD) systematic legal and judicial innovations, designed to facilitate the country’s global economic strategies, are being implemented into the country’s social, legal, and economic infrastructure.

Understanding the UAE’s legal structure must evolve in conjunction with the implementation of the country’s ambitious economic plans.

UAE leaders and ADJD set legal and judicial standards designed to make the country more attractive to foreign investment.

During the last several years, the UAE has adroitly instituted numerous regulations designed to bolster the country’s global standing while adhering to its historic and religious principals and foundations.

Covering a wide gamut

These laws broadly impact several areas, including, but not limited to: residency, citizenship, business, business ownership, personal finance, investment, social freedoms, religion, property ownership, alcohol consumption, cohabitation, harassment, assault, divorce, inheritance and succession.

The institution of these laws is a crucial foundational step in the country’s plan. For maximum domestic and international impact, these laws must be interpreted and enforced for full indoctrination into society.

ADJD, which serves as Abu Dhabi’s central judicial body, has steadily introduced, and implemented significant changes designed to embrace the legislature’s actions and funnel these actions to the populace.

Major among these actions are: the creation of a bilingual court; the implementation of English as a second language in the court; and requiring forms be translated before filing, thereby improving non-Arabic speaking litigants’ access to justice, and assuring clarity.

Change in the rules of procedure

Changes in the rules of procedure; the introduction of simplified, multilingual litigation forms; implementation of electronic document filing; and case management system improvements have simplified and helped expedite litigation in ADJD’s First Instance Courts.

ADJD’s First Instance Court’s newly created Foreign Experts Chamber continues to develop and operate as an English-speaking, world-class court, providing a flexible and modern judicial environment with English speaking United States, British, and Emirati judges in which to resolve commercial disputes facing domestic and foreign entities.

The chamber offers an international perspective while applying UAE law to commercial disputes exceeding $10 million.

Enhanced judicial training is insuring and improving fairness, excellence, transparency, clarity, and predictability, all priorities. Courts have even begun to offer training to lawyers to improve representation and increase competence.

UAE’s efforts to enhance its existing world class position continue. Though every development is not publicised, the increased international attraction and attention are the ultimate publicity.

Oran F. Whiting (Ret.) is the First Instance Court Judge, Foreign Experts Chamber, Abu Dhabi Judicial Department