DUBAI: The DIFC Courts’ Small Claims Tribunal (SCT) recorded 466 cases, 51% related to breach of contract, it was announced on Monday.
Established in 2004 and based on the English-language common law system, the courts’ jurisdiction was expanded in 2011 to include all businesses from all GCC countries and beyond.
The number of cases at the main Court of First Instance rose last year by 41 percent, while the total value of claims increased 72 percent to AED9.95 billion ($2.71 billion), with the average claim across cases amounting to AED86.3 million. The cases covered a wide range of sectors, including banking and finance, construction, and real estate.
The courts also reported a 50 percent increase in the number of opt-in cases last year, meaning claims where the contracts do not specify the DIFC Courts as the location for disputes but both parties have elected to use it in order to find a resolution.
Zaki Azmi, chief justice of the DIFC Courts, said: “Undoubtedly, 2020 was a year that tested the resilience of every government service, private-sector business, and individual. It was a year that forced everyone to re-shift focus; to reprioritize, and, to adapt to rapid changes.
“Given the extraordinary circumstances that have emerged, all core services of the DIFC Courts have been fully maintained, whilst remaining true to our core values and dedication of public service.”
The DIFC Courts’ Small Claims Tribunal (SCT) recorded 466 cases in 2020. The majority (51 percent) of cases were related to breach of contract, followed by employment (25 percent), property and tenancy (16 percent), and banking and finance (8 percent). The total value of claims related to SCT cases amounted to AED55 million.
Earlier this year, the DIFC Courts launched a new court which will rule on commercial space-related disputes, it was revealed on Monday.
The Courts of Space initiative, in partnership with the Dubai Future Foundation, will see an international working group of public and private-sector experts tasked with exploring space-related legal issues linked to such disputes, and brainstorming possible outcomes.