23 October 2005
Deputy Chief Justice of the DIFC Courts sworn in
HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance and Industry, UAE, swore in Mr. Michael Hwang SC as the Deputy Chief Justice of the Dubai International Financial Centre Court on October 23 rd, 2005, at the Ruler’s Court. Dr. Omar Bin Sulaiman, Director General of Dubai International Financial Centre Authority, Sir Anthony Evans, Chief Justice of the DIFC Courts, Mr. Omar Juma Mohamed Saif Al Fajeer Al Muhairi, Senior Judicial Officer, DIFC Courts and Mr. Ali Shamis Mohamed Shamis Al Madhani, Senior Judicial Officer, DIFC Courts, were present at the swearing-in ceremony.
Mr Hwang commented on his swearing in:
“This is an honour and a privilege for me. Dubai has set a new precedent by providing an independent judicial system to deal with disputes that may arise at the Dubai International Financial Centre. Institutions operating at the DIFC will be on familiar ground as the court regulations are based on international practice. The DIFC Courts will ensure a fair and efficient settlement of any dispute.”
Mr. Michael Hwang has held high judicial office in Singapore. In addition to two law degrees from Oxford University, Mr. Hwang holds professional qualifications from institutions in the UK, Australia, Singapore and Malaysia. He is a trustee of the Dubai International Arbitration Centre, Singapore’s Non-Resident Ambassador to Switzerland and a member of the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce. Formerly, Mr. Hwang was a United Nations Compensation Commissioner. He is also the sole proprietor of his eponymous firm.
Dr Omar Bin Sulaiman, Director General of DIFCA said:
“The DIFC Courts is an integral part of the Dubai International Financial Centre. The DIFC laws guarantee the highest standards of independent legal administration to all the financial institutions and organisations based here by providing a court system that is of international standards and unique in the Middle East.. A key feature of the laws is that they have been carefully crafted to provide legal certainty along with commercial flexibility.”
The DIFC Courts were established under the laws enacted by His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai and Vice-President of the UAE, in December 2004. The DIFC Courts are an independent judicial system which will deal with matters arising from and within the DIFC. HH Sheikh Maktoum, earlier in the year had appointed The Rt. Hon. Sir Anthony Evans as Chief Justice of the DIFC Court and Michael Hwang SC as Deputy. In accordance with the recently created laws, the judges are appointed for a period of three years.
The first formal sitting will be held on Tuesday, 25th October 2005. All proceedings before the Courts will be conducted in English and will be open to the public. Until the completion of its own premises, the courts will sit at Level 14, The Gate, Dubai, UAE.
In accordance with their mandate, the DIFC Courts will hold formal sittings every quarter, and all other times when the need arises, so that all cases are dealt with promptly and urgent applications heard as soon as circumstances require.