DIFC's first Digital Economy Court unveils new specialised rules DIFC's first Digital Economy Court unveils new specialised rules
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DIFC’s Digital Economy Court unveils new specialised rules

DIFC’s Digital Economy Court unveils new specialised rules

The new rules will facilitate efficient and modern resolution of digital economy disputes, standardising the use of smart forms to provide information through artificial intelligence driven platform

Zubina Ahmed
Digital Economy Court

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts announced the launch of a new set of specialised rules for its recently formed Digital Economy Court (DEC) Division.

In addition, leading international judicial expertise has been recruited to oversee and operate the new Court’s digital infrastructure and service capabilities. Under Decree No. 29 of 2022, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has appointed Justice Michael Black of England & Wales, who will oversee the Digital Economy Court Division.

Following the announcement of the dedicated division in 2021, a global panel of lawyers, led by Tom Montagu-Smith KC and Matthew Watson of 3VB Chambers, and industry experts, were tasked to draft and confirm new specialised rules, which were also subject to a 30-day public consultation and finalised under the supervision of Justice Michael Black.

The new ‘Part 58’ of the DIFC Courts rules will facilitate the efficient and modern resolution of digital economy disputes, standardising the use of smart forms to provide information through artificial intelligence driven platform. In line with the Courts’ paperless mandate, cases will also be conducted using advanced digital systems to expedite service to parties and enforcement, with a view to reducing the environmental impact of court proceedings.

In 2021, the DIFC Courts established the Digital Economy Court Division to oversee national and transnational disputes related to current and emerging technologies across areas ranging from big data, blockchain, AI, fintech, and cloud services, to disputes also involving unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), 3D printing, and robotics.

Justice Omar Al Mheiri, director, DIFC Courts, said: “With the digital economy fast emerging as a prime accelerant of global business, these specialised rules have been engineered to strengthen our mission of building a courts system that not only absorbs current dispute resolution needs but can flex to address and resolve new emerging disputes. This strategy has been further reinforced by ensuring we blend leading judicial expertise with innovative technological implementations.”

From November 26-27, the DIFC Courts held a virtual Moot Court, inviting 18 teams of international law students and 25 qualified judges to hold a two-day competition to test-proof the new DEC Rules across a dispute involving cryptocurrency.

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