The paper presents a critical comparison of English courts and DIFC courts. Some of the differences noted are the structure of the courts, the composition, hierarchy, the supreme courts functions, court fees, and work plans for the courts. They include the Supreme Court, which was formally known as the House of Lords, the Court of Appeal, the high court, crown court and county courts, and magistrates Courts. On the other hand, the DIFC courts do not have levels, and it is one court that acts a court of incidence, and as Supreme Court.
Supreme courts replaced the House of Lords in the year 2009. It is now the highest court in the UK and Wales. Its purpose is to hear appeals from the Court of Appeal. The appeals and first instance cases on DCIF are heard in the same level but different composition of jury. The chief justice of the DIFC court is appointed by the ruler. The other levels of English courts. Again, the high court consists of three divisions, the chancery division, Queens Bench Division, and the Family Division. Below the high court, are the county courts and the tribunal service that deals with the criminal case that has been transferred from the crown court, and the tribunal case makes a decision on the matters relating to issues such as asylum, immigration, tax, and security among others. The hierarchy in the English courts is complex than that of DICF courts.
On the other hand, the DIFC courts are different. They act as the First Instance Courts and as Court of Appeal. The composition of the First Instance proceeding will comprise of one judge. It has jurisdiction over various issues. They include civil and the commercial courts, involving DIFC and DIFC establishments and civil and commercial cases relating to contracts, the appeals, and obligation made against a decision made by DIFC bodies and its institutions. Besides, the court of appeal shall have a composition of minimum three judges, chief justice, and one senior judge. They have jurisdiction over the court appealed against awards and judgments made by the court of the first instance. They are also tasked with the interpretation articles and section in the DIFCs laws. There do so in case any conflict emerges, or when requested by any establishment of DIFC to do so. No appeal shall lie from award and judgments of the court of appeal since it is the most powerful court in the structure.
The other difference is seen in the court fees of the two court systems. You are likely to pay a fee when you take your claim to court, in tribunal court, either in Wales of England. The amounts paid in the two courts depend on the weight of the case. In the case of DIFC courts, the structure is simple. They are paid to the courts of the first instance. For example, for the claim of up to and including USD 500,000, the fee will be 5%. For the claim of over USD 50 million, the fee will be USD 135,000. The amount paid includes the hearing fees or will be used for any chamber sitting, fee of the pre-trail; preview, and cover a minimum of three days of trial. On the other hand, the charges in the UK are different according to the level of the court, and the type of claim made. The claims are divided into seven categories including divorce and civil relationship, claim money owed, applying for probate, applying for benefits decision, and applying for bankruptcy each has its different amount. Another type of fee common in English courts is hearing fee. The amount of the hearing fee is proportional to the claim amount. The difference between the fees is that claims in the DIFC attract high fees that the same claims in UK courts. The payment of the fee is improvised in the UK than in the DIFC courts, with the English Courts introducing online payment system.
The two court systems have work structures of the current year. As of DIFC courts, they will be guided by five principles as stated by the Chief Justice. They include increasing administrative efficiency, developing outreach initiatives, maintaining high-quality awards and decision, and enlightenment with the in international best practices. The principles will lead the quality judicial decisions. The English courts have a laid down work plan too, which they call charting the future. They are four areas the state was focusing the year of 2016 as in the work plan. They include, the expansion of the State courts fundamental work to reach many people, leveraging the information system, making the public institutions accessible, and enhancing the effectiveness of justice.
Court Fees DIFC courts. Accessed November 10, 2016, http://ecourts.gov.in/sites/default/files/COURT%20FEE%20MOHALI_0.pdf
Evans, Anthony. Legal Infrastructure of the DIFC Courts. (2016) Global Insolvency and Bankruptcy Practice for Sustainable Economic Development. (Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2016, 233
Husein, Amgad, and Jonathan G. Burns. Choice of Forum in Contracts with Saudi Arabian Counterparties: An Analysis of the DIFC Common Law Courts from a Saudi Arabian Perspective (2015), 48. The International Lawyer, 233
Slapper, Gary, and David Kelly. The English Legal System: 2012-2013(Routledge, 2013).
Strategic Plan 2016-20121 DIFC courts. Accessed November 10, 2016http://difccourts.ae/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/DIFC-Courts-Strategic-Plan-2016-2021.pdf
Zander, Michael. The law-making process (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015).
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