DUBAI: The UAE is gearing up to host hundreds of judicial officers at the 24th International Union of Judicial Officers Congress scheduled to take place at the Intercontinental Festival City in Dubai from November 22 to 25, 2021. To be held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, and hosted by Dubai Courts, the four-day UIHJ Congress will focus on an important theme – Cyberjustice: New opportunities for the judicial officer.
The International Union of Judicial Officers Congress (UIHJ) is an international non-governmental organisation incorporated to promote, co-ordinate and develop the activity of the judicial officers internationally in order to safeguard, through closer co-operation between the representative professional organisations on a national level, the dignity and independence towards a better service to persons and to the community.
“The UIHJ Congress is in line with Dubai Courts instructions to develop cooperation with related organizations in order to provide leading and globally distinguished judicial services,” HE Taresh Eid Al Mansouri, Director-General of Dubai Courts, says.
“It gives me great pleasure to welcome all participants interested in justice, judiciary and judgments execution. Participants are from numerous full membership countries in the International Union of Judicial Officers, which include 93 countries as full members and 6 countries as observer members. We are all proud, on official and local level, to host this gathering in Dubai for the first time in the region of Middle East and North Africa.”
There are 93 member or associated member organisations of the UIHJ, from 90 countries. Every three years, the UIHJ organises the international congress of judicial officers, a unique scientific event, and a great opportunity for contacts for the profession of judicial officer.
The 24th International Union of Judicial Officers (UIHJ) will help Dubai Courts, which last year received a number of accolades for its stellar performance, including ISO 2020 Certification and Gulf Summit for Human Resources for My Job program, to demonstrate its advanced judicial services to the rest of the world.
Dubai Courts has successfully handled 588,018 judicial transactions through its digital channel in 2020 – the year of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Criminal Court of First Instance heard 20,715 cases in 2020, while the Labour Court of First Instance heard 14,945 cases in 2020. The Execution Court heard 122,703 cases while the Appeal Court heard 11,394 cases in 2020, according to Dubai Courts.
The total Execution settlements for 2020 amounted to Dh558.23 million while the Center for Amicable Settlement of Disputes settled claims of 1,755 cases worth Dh4.1 billion with 73 percent settlement rate. The amount settled in inheritance cases amounted to Dh1.21 billion in 2020.
The average judgement time for cases have been reduced to 80 days from the first hearing in 2020, down from 91 days in 2018 and 109 days from the date of case registration in 2020, down from 121 days in 2018 – making it one of the most efficient courts in the world.
Dubai Court has 191 judiciary staff, out of a total 1,112 number of employees, of which 44 percent are female, who are behind the success of these achievements.
Due to COVID- 19, Dubai Courts reinforced remote or virtual litigation to ensure that justice is done while combating the spread of the pandemic. The new system allows the litigants and lawyers to carry out their cases through using Abu Dhabi Judicial Department’s electronic systems or through registering in “Al Salifah” application with a documented user account or through all available registration channels. Moreover, all judicial lawsuits, requests and amicable settlement are also done remotely through law firms, outsourcing offices or through the electronic court system.
In the new system, all the judicial announcements are sent via SMS or e-mail, and the user’s account data is collected and approved by the system. Also, all lawsuits are carried out remotely using audiovisual technology which enables the concerned parties to attend the sessions online, exchange documents, and issue the relevant decisions.
The availability of the remote litigation channel for all types of civil lawsuits, during 2020, reached (100%), which is the culmination of a series of pioneering achievements made by the Department in the field of developing and automating judicial procedures. Over the past years, Dubai Courts are working according to a systematic plan to comply with the Dubai Government’s vision of shifting towards smart government services and contributing to building a paper-free future in 2021.
The global judicial community does not have a common global code to tackle this new threat and ensure cyberjustice – something that will be the focus of the four—day event.
Marc Schmitz, President of UIHJ, says, “The world is becoming digitised at the speed of light and the current COVID-19 pandemic is even speeding-up that process. The judicial officer should consider the digital evolution in the judiciary, not only as a challenge but as an opportunity! An opportunity to reinvent themself!”
“Digital enforcement and enforcement of digital assets will become common practice in the near future. But so far, legislation is not keeping pace with the technical evolution!”
There is a requirement to introduce rules concerning digital enforcement and enforcement of digital assets. And these rules must be harmonised, right from the start on a worldwide level. Solutions on a state-level only, will not be sufficient. The digital world is cross-border. For that reason, consideration of continental and even global harmonisation is crucial.
“Events like our 24th International Congress can play a central role in this development and generate further considerations. UIHJ can be one of the pioneers and take a leading role by drafting position papers and making recommendations in the field of digital enforcement,” Marc Schmitz said.
“The presentation of a Global Code of digital enforcement, during the 24th International Congress of the UIHJ in Dubai, could become a milestone in its history. It will be the opportunity for the UIHJ to distinguish itself and to inspire the creation of national legislation in the field of digital enforcement and which would be – right from the beginning – harmonised on a worldwide level.”
The 24th International Union of Judicial Officers (UIHJ) Congress will include an exhibition and will be participated by the stakeholders of social justice. The Congress will hold its Board Meeting, deliberate keynote addresses, panel discussions, workshops and networking events, among others.