The DIFC Courts today (29 March 2015) released 3 documents for a 1 month period of public consultation. The first is a draft Order by the Chief Justice with the effect of extending the jurisdiction of the DIFC Courts Small Claims Tribunal (SCT) to hear all disputes, whatever the subject matter, below the value of 500,000 AED and with a maximum value of 1,000,000 AED where parties agree. The elective jurisdiction of the SCT remains uncapped in the context of employment claims.
The second is a Practice Direction which provides for de novo reconsideration by a DIFC Courts judge, upon application, of judicial decisions issued by Registrars, Judicial or Court officers and is based on the current practice in Singapore.
The third is a proposed revision of the DIFC Court fees. Notable amendments include a tiered fee schedule which incorporates the applicable fees to be paid for all standard hearings throughout the case, including the Case Management Conference, the Pre-Trial Review and three days of trial, meaning that the filing fee will now essentially be an ‘all-in-one’ payment. The revised Court fees further include reimbursements of filing fees for settlement, which varies at each stage of the proceedings, and amended enforcement fees taking into consideration where the judgment or order being executed was made.
The public are warmly invited to submit their comments to the Consultation Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org by Close of Business on Wednesday, 29 April 2015.