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Online court hearings in Dubai Image Credit:

Dubai: Dubai Courts have held 26 remote hearings in the two days since its launch on Sunday, April 19, to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Tarish Eid Al Mansouri, director general of Dubai Courts, said courts had resumed hearings remotely at cassation, appeal and first instance level except for criminal cases.

“The step is part of the development in Dubai Courts in line with the precautionary measures to curb COVID-19,” he said. “Lawyers and case parties can use technology to log into the sessions,” he added.

Judges, court clerks, lawyers and case parties can attend the virtual hearings from 8:30am.

“The service includes family guidance, registering marriage and divorce cases and certificates and paying fees. All the judicial announcements are done through text messages and emails,” he added.

Cases heard online include labour, commercial, civil and personal status matters.

According to the courts, criminal hearings remain suspended and subject to review next week.

Gulf News, went through Monday’s hearings as some of them are open for public just like ordinary court work done before COVID-19.

In a commercial court hearing through Microsoft team programme, the court clerk organised the list of cases and muted the mics of viewers who also can’t use their cameras, except lawyers, case parties and the judge.

The judge opened the session and then discussed with lawyers their requests. He also spoke with case parties before adjourning the session for judgement.

Cases of a sensitive nature such as family disputes are not open to the public, however.

Emirati Lawyer, Abdullah Al Nasser from Araa Advocates and legal consultants Group, praised the step wishing to continue the remote sessions after the crisis has finished.

“I finished some remote sessions in the commercial court. It was an outstanding and easy sessions,” he said. “I hope it will continue in the future.”

People can log in to Dubai Courts website and check the list of daily hearings and pick their scheduled hearing before clicking on a camera icon to take them to the virtual court.