A Judicial Tribunal was established last year pursuant to Dubai Decree No. 19 of 2016 (the Tribunal) to determine conflicts of jurisdiction between the DIFC Courts and the onshore Dubai Courts (the Dubai Courts). The Tribunal has jurisdiction to determine conflicts of jurisdiction where the DIFC Courts and the Dubai Courts have both: (i) not abandoned hearing the case; (ii) abandoned hearing the case; or (iii) rendered conflicting judgments on the case.
Much has been written about the composition and mechanics of the Tribunal, which we do not intend to repeat in this briefing. Rather, the focus of this briefing is on the decisions of the Tribunal to date and the implications of these decisions for the conduit jurisdiction of the DIFC Courts to enforce foreign and domestic arbitral awards and foreign judgments. In short, the effectiveness of that jurisdiction appears to be on the decline. However, there are steps that can be taken by the parties to ensure that their disputes continue to be heard by the DIFC Courts as examined in this briefing.