Speedy proceedings in UAE courts will benefit all

Changes to the country's judicial system will result in quicker proceedings and rulings for everyone in the country.

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ABU DHABI // Changes to the judicial system will reduce delays in civil court cases and bring speedier verdicts for litigants.

The amendments to the 1992 Code of Civil Procedures were approved at a Cabinet meeting on Sunday chaired by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

The changes will ensure a unified system is followed across judicial departments. Sheikh Mohammed said they would “make it easier for litigants and accelerate the legal proceeding before the courts”.

The law will aim for “justice and balance” with a number of new provisions, including a new case management system that will allow for electronic filing, and allowing litigants to appeal in the same court that issues a verdict.

The law will contribute to the country’s competitiveness in the judicial field and will facilitate the separation of claims filed before them, Sheikh Mohammed’s office said.

It said the law would help to ensure verdicts were given in the quickest time possible, easing the burden on Emiratis and expatriate residents alike.

Yousef Al Bahar, an Emirati lawyer with Al Bahar & Associates, welcomed the changes. He said notable, vast improvements will come as a result.

“The current system entails a qualified lawyer is needed to appeal cases, and it takes a long time,” he said. “Some people do not have the money to go to a lawyer, this delays things. With the new provision allowing litigants to appeal, it will save money and time.”

After a Federal National Council member complained this year that delayed court proceedings were attracting negative foreign comment and affecting the country’s image, the Minister of Justice, Dr Hadif Al Dhaheri, said new laws would reduce delays.

At an FNC public session, Dr Al Dhaheri said delays were a problem, but the ministry was trying to speed matters up to meet international standards.