Dubai launches world's first international digital economy court

Platform is aimed at boosting the growth and sustainability of digital economy enterprises

The DIFC Courts is Dubai’s international English-language common law judicial system. Sarah Dea / The National
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The Dubai International Financial Centre Courts on Wednesday announced the launch of the world’s first international digital economy court.

The platform is aimed at providing the best legislative environment, to boost the growth and sustainability of digital economy enterprises, authorities said.

Digital services and the infrastructure of the new court will be managed and operated by judicial experts with “extensive international experience”, the Dubai Government Media Office said on Wednesday.

A panel of international lawyers and experts in the industry were assigned to draft new specialised rules and develop standardised smart forms for processing information through a dynamic, artificial intelligence-driven platform, it added.

In line with the DIFC Courts’ paperless mandate, cases will also be conducted using advanced digital systems.

“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," Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Deputy Ruler of Dubai, said.

The 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”, said Sheikh Maktoum, who is also the president of DIFC.

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.

Last year, the DIFC Courts set up 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, 3D printing and robotics.

This year, the courts issued a judgment related to one of the first cryptocurrency disputes in the region, which addressed issues such as the safe transfer of cryptocurrency between buyer and seller and the obligations of a custodian of cryptocurrency.

“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,” said Omar Al Mheiri, director of DIFC Courts.

Updated: December 15, 2022, 7:46 AM