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Thursday, March 23, 2023

UAE civil procedure law reform comes into effect

UAE civil procedure law reform comes into effect

madeleine powers The head of law firm Pinsent Masons said Federal Law No. 42 of 2022, which introduces a series of changes to the UAE’s civil procedure rules, is the first of a “vast number of new laws in development” that should be considered by all parties. The upcoming legislation in 2023 will address judicial reforms related to evidence in civil and commercial transactions, cybercrime, the legal profession, experts, translators and notaries,” she said. legal process and repealed Federal Law No. 11 of 1992 on Civil Procedure.

Under the new law, which went into effect on Jan. 2, 2023, while the official language of the courts remains Arabic, courts can now allow non-Arabic litigants, witnesses and others to be heard with an interpreter after oaths have been taken. The chairman of the Federal Judicial Council or the head of the local judiciary can now also decide to make English the language of trials, proceedings, judgments and decisions of certain courts designated to hear more specialized proceedings.

“These changes increase the attractiveness of doing business in Dubai for commercial clients and provide more certainty and transparency to the procedures employed by onshore courts. Recognizing the international nature of the UAE business community, these reforms improve the Accessibility for non-Arabic speakers. However, there has been no further clarification as to which courts are affected,” Bauer said.

There is also a new requirement for plaintiffs to provide certified English translations of proceedings if the defendant’s native language is not Arabic, unless prior consent is given to provide a translation in a third language. This requirement applies to all civil and commercial lawsuits, except labor lawsuits and personal status lawsuits brought by employees and workers.

The new law also changes the rules for the service of proceedings outside UAE jurisdiction. Service abroad is now effective 21 working days from the date the Ministry of Foreign Affairs sends a letter containing the notice and/or documents to be served to the diplomatic missions stationed abroad. “With no treaty between the UAE and the foreign country providing the service, services outside the jurisdiction are quite complicated,” Ball said.

She added: “Clarity and simplification of the process of service outside the jurisdiction are therefore very welcome, which will help speed up the litigation process. We would also like to see fewer and fewer automatic appeals as the legislation takes hold become the norm, and more oversight by the appeals courts in filtering baseless appeals.”

She added: “Under the old law, the process included various diplomatic channels in the UAE as well as foreign jurisdictions served by foreign parties. This new reform aims to give parties greater certainty and confidence in the progress of their proceedings . The parties being served need to be more vigilant as their receipt of denial process may no longer be grounds for avoiding responsibility.”

The new law also recognizes checks as “enforceable instruments,” requiring them to be enforced by domestic courts. This change is in line with the position taken by Federal Law No. 14 of 2020, which amended certain provisions of Federal Law No. 18 of 1993 concerning commercial transactions. Mariam Hassaballah of Pinsent Masons said: “This confirmation means parties can now also initiate enforcement proceedings against uncashed checks without initiating substantive proceedings, although this is already done in practice.”

Federal Law No. 42 of 2022 also aligns the appellate court procedure with a similar practice followed by the Supreme Court, which conducts internal review of appeals. The appeals court will have 20 business days to make a well-reasoned decision to dismiss the appeal on procedural or substantive grounds, or to set a date to hear the appeal on substance. Hassaballah said: “Lawyers in the UAE are used to an almost automatic appeals process. But changes in the law now mean that appellants must carefully consider their arguments to avoid procedural or substantive dismissals in court. Therefore, interviewed The applicant will seek to determine any and all grounds on which the appeal should be dismissed.”

The new law also halved the time limit for appealing to the Supreme Court from 60 days to 30 days. However, the new time limit does not apply to cassation cases filed before January 2, 2023. For ongoing litigation, it does not apply to time-related provisions where the time limit begins before the new law takes effect. In addition, the new time limit will not apply retroactively to judgments rendered before the new law came into effect.

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