Jurisdiction of DIFC Courts
The DIFC courts have been taking a actual yet expansive approach for rendering opinions on its jurisdictions. Consequently, the courts have evolved with a concept called the conduit jurisdiction in order to recognise and enforce the foreign as well as domestic awards given by the arbitration centres and the foreign judgments.
In 2016, the Judicial Tribunal was established under the Decree No. 19 of 2016, with the intention of resolution of jurisdictional conflicts between DIFC and Dubai Courts. In a recent decision in the case of Sindbad Marine, it was held that the willingness and the ability of the party to put to use the Dubai International Financial Center Courts as conduit jurisdiction depends on the facts and the area of law.
In this case, a nullification of the award given by the Dubai Courts was filed. Further going ahead, Sinbad appealed to the Judicial Tribunal to find a resolution for the conflict of jurisdiction. The tribunal believed that the DIFC courts exercised competency for recognising the award.
In its first ever case between Daman Real Capital Partners Co. LLC vs Oger, the Joint Judicial Committee (JCC) had to decide the recognition and enforcement of an award made by an arbitration seat in Dubai. Daman made an application to the Dubai courts for an annulment of the award and to seek a stay of the proceedings until the ones at the Dubai courts.
The committee concluded by recognising the competency of the Dubai Courts for making a determination on the validity of the awards of arbitration centres. It also made a point that the courts at the DIFC should be ceased of the power of even entertaining such matters.