H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs, and President of Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD), has signed a decision establishing the Small Claim Court, based on the strategic priority of the Judicial Department.
Youssef Saeed Al-Abri, Under-Secretary of the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department, affirmed the commitment of the UAE's leadership to establish a legislative and judicial infrastructure to organise litigation procedures, particularly small cases in terms of the value of the claim, by reducing the number of measures taken to shorten the adjudication time in comparison to ordinary litigation procedures in line with the global competitiveness standards.
He stated that the decision guarantees a speedy adjudication of cases and preserves at the same time the rights of all parties, as the court has the jurisdiction to settle civil, commercial and labour disputes in addition to salary claims of less than AED500,000 of value. The final decisions of this Court are rendered at the same hearing.
The decision to establish the Small Claims Court has provided a mechanism to expedite the case preparation. The said procedure shall be finalised within 15 days as of the date of registration of the case, which period can be extended for a similar period only by a decision of the supervising judge, and the decision ending the litigation shall be issued in one and same hearing during which the grounds of the dispute are set out.
The decision also provides a set of procedures that ensure the completion of the case in a record time. This happens by devising proactive solutions before filing the lawsuit, as the need for the claimant who files a request requiring the opinion of a technical expert to pay the expert’s fees up to 3 percent of the amount of the claim and this sum shall not be less than AED2,000 with the requirement to set the preparation session within 3 days from the date of receiving the report, as well as the possibility to take the expert’s opinion orally during the hearing.
Concerning appeal procedures, the decision allows the appeal of the decisions ending the litigation and which value exceeds the amount of AED50,000, within 15 days from the date of the judgment, provided that a fixed security amount of AED1,000 is deposited for each appeal.
The said amount is refundable if the appeal is accepted. The court shall determine the appeal in chambers within 5 working days at the latest as of the date of registration. In all cases, the decisions rendered on the appeal shall be final and cannot be challenged by any means of appeal.