Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Image Credit: Twitter/@DXBMediaOffice

Dubai: In line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to further enhance the judicial system in the emirate, Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the UAE, and Chairman of the Dubai Judicial Council, has approved the formation of a Board of Commissioners for the Dubai Court of Cassation, which adds a litigation guarantee that will help boost confidence in Dubai’s justice system.

Sheikh Maktoum said: “Establishing an advanced judicial system is a key priority for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid as justice is the foundation of the stability and prosperity of a nation in which the rule of law is paramount. Our ability to uphold people’s rights fairly, effectively and impartially makes our judicial system one of the world’s best. In Dubai, justice is everyone’s right, without exception or bias.”

“We aim to invest in Emirati talent in order to further enhance the judicial system in accordance with the highest international standards. A vital addition to the Court of Cassation, the Board of Commissioners will further enhance mechanisms in place to safeguard justice and strengthen the foundations of stability, prosperity and development, which are key to shaping a bright future,” he added.

Key responsibilities

The Board of Commissioners will be entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring the rights of all litigation parties are preserved, and that justice takes its fair course. Members of the Board are well qualified to appreciate and better understand the details of various litigation cases. The Board will also provide informed opinions based on evidence and witness accounts, rather than personal judgement.

The roles of the Board of Commissioners include examining appeals before they are submitted to the Chambers of Cassation, as well as expediting the litigation process in cases of appeals that do not require appearance before the Chambers of Cassation. The Board will help judges dedicate their time to examining and studying the appeal within the context of making a judgement. The Board of Commissioners will also be responsible for training and qualifying its judges so that they can be appointed as judges in the Court of Cassation in the future.

The Board will examine appeals in cassation, review cases brought to the Court of Cassation, offer reconciliation to parties of the appeal, and prove abandonment of litigation and other occurrences that factor into the continuation of appeal or making a judgement on it. The Board will also give its opinion on applications submitted to it from the Head of Court of Cassation or the Court’s Chambers heads.

Improved processes

Taresh Eid Al Mansouri, Director-General of Dubai Courts, said: “The formation of the Board of Commissioners at the Dubai Court of Cassation further establishes the principles of justice, equality and the rule of law. It helps enhance sustainable development in Dubai by ensuring an advanced, effective and impartial judicial system.”

“The role of the Board will not be limited to improving the process of litigation in Dubai; but will extend to include qualifying judges to later join the Court of Cassation, through the experience they gain by joining the Board that operates under Dubai’s supreme judicial body, the Court of Cassation,” he added.

Supporting Emiratisation plans

Judge Abdul Qader Mousa Mohammed, Head of the Court of Cassation, said: “Establishing the Board of Commissioners will support Emiratisation plans related to members of Dubai’s judicial authority, especially judges of the Court of Cassation, and boost our efforts to select the best and most qualified judges.

“By playing its role optimally, the Board of Commissioners will provide an added guarantee for litigators, as the Board will report the legal opinion regarding appeals submitted to the Court of Cassation, further improving the accuracy of examining appeals, and facilitating the Court’s judgement in a timely manner.

“The Board’s work will be subject to a special judicial inspection process that ensures achievement of its objectives,” he added.

A key step forward

Dr Saif Ghanem Al Suwaidi, Secretary-General of the Dubai Judicial Council, said: “Creating the Board of Commissioners is part of the implementation of a series of measures directed by [Sheikh Mohammed] to improve the justice system and litigation process in Dubai in line with his vision for a just and safe community.

“This step follows benchmark assessments aimed at defining judicial best practices and the role played by boards of commissioners and similar bodies in various judicial systems to ensure the accuracy and thoroughness of judgements,” he added.

The Dubai Court of Cassation was established in 1988 with the aim of unifying the application of law in Dubai courts. The Court of Cassation does not re-issue judgments for cases submitted to lower courts, but monitors how these judgements abide by the law. If a conflict is submitted before the Court of Cassation for the second time, it issues its judgments as a subject-matter court and not as a court of law.

The Court of Cassation comprises of a president and a number of judges, with the most senior judge acting in place of the president if the latter is absent for any reason. The Court includes several departments, including litigation, commercial, real estate, and civil departments among others.