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DIFC Courts issues rules for robots, drones, AI and fintech

DIFC Dubai Media Office
While this robotic Dubai police officer is on the right side of the law, DIFC Courts will hear digital business disputes, ranging from AI to blockchain issues

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts has issued a fresh set of rules designed to address digital business disputes across the emirate.

The rules range from big data, blockchain, artificial intelligence, fintech and cloud services, to unmanned aerial vehicles, 3D printing and robotics.

Established in 2004, the DIFC Courts is the English language, independent, common law legal system for the DIFC free zone, the emirate’s main financial hub.

In December last year it announced the launch of a Digital Economy Court (DEC) Division, aimed at simplifying the settlement process of complex civil and commercial disputes related to the digital economy.

Following the announcement, a global panel of lawyers and industry experts were tasked to draft and confirm new specialised rules, which were also subject to a 30-day public consultation.

The rules will lead to the swift resolution of digital economy disputes through an artificial intelligence-driven platform, making use of digital systems as part of the court’s paperless strategy.

Justice Omar Al Mheiri, director at DIFC Courts, said: “With the digital economy fast emerging as a prime accelerant of global business, these specialised rules have been engineered to strengthen our mission of building a courts system that not only absorbs current dispute resolution needs but can flex to address and resolve new emerging disputes.

“This strategy has been further reinforced by ensuring we blend leading judicial expertise with innovative technological implementations,” he added.

Justice Michael Black from the UK has been appointed to oversee the Digital Economy Court Division.

The total number of cases that came before the DIFC Courts across all its divisions grew 10 percent year-on-year in the first half of 2022, with a total value of AED 1.9 billion.