Coronavirus: Dubai’s Labour Court hears 3,000 cases via video link

A senior judge said the remote hearings had proved a significant success

Dubai’s Labour Court has dealt with approximately 3,000 employment disputes via video conference since the coronavirus pandemic began.

New figures released on Wednesday showed rulings had been issued in 1,000 of the cases so far.

Judge Jamal Al Jaberi, Chief Justice of Dubai Labour Court, said attendance at the remote, online hearings had been impressive.

He also noted the total number of disputes the court had been asked to consider had dropped by nearly five per cent compared to the same period last year.

"All judicial circuits were remotely hearing cases in two groups," he told The National.

“One starts at 10am and another at 11am. The attendance was impressive. In my latest remote hearing about 99 per cent were present including lawyers who were able to submit their documents prior to the hearing.”

Dubai’s Labour Court began hearing cases remotely on April 12 following moves by UAE authorities to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Since then, officials have worked hard to ensure all employment disputes have continued to be dealt with expediently.

Judge Al Jaberi said he had returned to work from his office earlier this week and that he expected more of his staff to follow suit soon.

He claimed the move to online services had proved a great success and had helped accelerate plans to further digitalise the courts.

“Even after we are fully back to court, online hearings will continue,” he said.

“However, we will not close the door on traditional hearings of course. But cases that involve a large number of people will be heard remotely.

“We had a plan already set up for the digital transformation of our services but the health crisis has accelerated it.

“We don’t know if we will receive more cases in the next few months, but we are ready.”

Between January and May this year, Dubai’s Labour court dealt with 4,832 cases, down from 5,074 during the same period last year.