DIFC Courts fully integrate paperless strategy in operations

By Arya M Nair, Intern Reporter
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DIFC Courts
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The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts has fully digitized all of its internal operations and customer-facing services.

The DIFC Courts accelerated the integration of all services into its vast digital infrastructure following the launch of the Dubai Paperless Strategy by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum in 2018.

In February 2018, the DIFC Courts announced the implementation of the region’s first Courts eBundling system, which was launched the same week as the launch of the Paperless Strategy.

The secure cloud-based technology allows all court documents to be uploaded from anywhere in the world, enabling judges, lawyers, and courts staff to access case information in various formats, across multiple locations, and share with numerous users.

As a part of the UAE Government’s commitment to effectively employ advanced technologies and digital platforms to continue services to the public, the DIFC Courts leveraged its digital infrastructure to stay connected with court users during COVID-19 restrictions.

Existing video conferencing and teleconferencing facilities for applications and hearings were extended, as well as the issuing of digital Orders and Judgments, and court users were able to access all extensive ‘eServices’ remotely.

During the pandemic, the DIFC Courts also introduced fresh digital systems for the registration of Wills. This new digital offering is part of the existing Virtual Registry, which allows those living overseas to create and register a DIFC Courts Will. Investors, former and current residents can access it from anywhere in the world and be connected, via video link, to a compliance officer sitting in Dubai.

Justice Omar Al Mheiri
Justice Omar Al Mheiri
Director –  DIFC Courts

“Since our inception, the DIFC Courts has pioneered the way courts services are delivered, with technology and digital infrastructure at the core. We continue our drive towards new cutting-edge digital transformation and equipping our court users with the most advanced tools, creating legal security in an era of technological disruption. By combining a modern and flexible digital infrastructure with judicial and service excellence, we endeavor to set a new benchmark for cultivating justice for global businesses.”

The region’s first eRegistry, as well as a digitally integrated courtroom and state-of-the-art eCourt Management System (CMS) in 2017, are among the many technologies the Courts have pioneered to re-engineer and improve access to justice. 

Special project initiatives under the Courts of the Future have also assisted the DIFC Courts with advanced R&D activities, uniting individuals and companies helping to prototype and launch the advancement of court technology, such as blockchain-powered initiatives, AI-enabled programs, and cloud-based solutions.

In May 2021, the DIFC Courts added the final pieces to its full paperless status by acquiring the qualified electronic seal solution Ethaq, a paperless initiative that enables digital authenticity of documents with the support of UAE PASS, the secure national digital identity platform for the UAE.

In 2021, the DIFC Courts received three industry-leading awards for technology implementations in support of its digital infrastructure. Awards received included Best Blockchain Focused Document Authentication Initiative, Innovative Initiative of the Year, and Best Digital Government Experience.

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