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Enforcing a Judgement or Order

We have previously looked at how to prepare for the first two phases of the SCT process: Consultations and Hearings.

Once the Hearing is complete, a Judgement or Order (including a Consent Order) will be issued, which leads to the next phase of the process: enforcement.

Parties must wait 14 days before a filing an enforcement case. In the intervening two weeks, the unsuccessful party will often voluntarily pay any monies owed. However, if there are any delays or issues with payment, the succesful party is free to file an enforcement case.

In cases where the losing party has assets in the DIFC, and over which the DIFC Courts automatically have jurisdiction, the process is very simple. The DIFC Courts will take the judgment or order to the DIFC Authority and request it is enforced against assets held in the free zone.

If parties opted into the jurisdiction of the DIFC Courts, and/or assets are held outside of the free zone, enforcement will take place through the appropriate onshore UAE court, most likely the Dubai Courts, but it could equally be the courts in Abu Dhabi or Sharjah, for instance.

For enforcement via one of the UAE’s Arabic courts, the party needs to have their DIFC Courts’ judgment or order translated into Arabic using a certified legal translator. They should then bring the translated document to the DIFC Courts, who will draft an enforcement letter to the appropriate court within two working days.

Upon receipt of the letter, the applicable court will enforce the judgment or order without looking at the merits of a case.

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