DIFC Judicial Authority (DIFC Courts), the independent judicial system within the financial district, constitute another critical element of DIFC's offering to the financial industry. Created following extensive consultation and review of international best practices, DIFC Courts are an independent, common law judicial system with exclusive jurisdiction over all civil and commercial disputes within DIFC financial district, including bodies and companies registered in DIFC.
The Rules of DIFC Courts were designed specifically to deal with sophisticated financial transactions conducted within DIFC. Furthermore, DIFC Courts worked to ensure the highest international standards of legal procedure so that they provide the certainty, flexibility and efficiency expected by global institutions operating within DIFC. The Courts provide financial institutions and other companies in DIFC with a vital safety net and a guarantee that disputes will be settled swiftly and efficiently and according to the highest global benchmarks.
DIFC Courts have a judicial panel consisting of internationally-renowned commercial and civil law judges. Led by the Chief Justice, Michael Hwang, SC, the President of the Law Society of Singapore, a Vice Chairman of the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), a Vice President of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration, a member of the London Court of International Arbitration, a member of the International Council of Arbitration for Sport, and is Singapore's non-resident Ambassador to Switzerland.
In January 2008, DIFC Courts appointed the first female judge in the UAE, a landmark occasion in the history of the UAE's legal system. In the same year, the Courts also appointed the first two Emirati judges to become common-law, resident judges, another significant achievement for the Courts and the UAE.