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UAE and Australian judiciaries forge closer ties

Dubai: The DIFC Courts on Saturday signed a Memorandum of Guidance with the Federal Court of Australia. The document covering the mutual enforcement of money judgments between the two courts, was signed by their respective Chief Justices during a ceremony in Melbourne, Australia.

“As trade between the UAE and Australia has grown in recent years, it has become essential for courts in the two countries to become more connected in order to support the needs of commerce,” said Michael Hwang, Chief Justice of the DIFC Courts. “This memorandum builds on the comprehensive regime we already have in place and will bring additional certainty and clarity to investors, businesses and legal professionals operating in both the UAE and Australia.”

According to Khalifa Saif Al Mazroui, Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy of the UAE in Canberra, Australia,this Memorandum of Guidance offers companies active in both the UAE and Australia the “confidence that any commercial dispute which may arise can be resolved within an internationally accredited legal framework such as the DIFC Courts, which is also internationally binding.”

James Allsop, Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Australia, said that while the memorandum does not alter substantive law, “it will assists in clarifying relevant processes and thus assists commercial parties in the speedy and cost effective enforcement of money judgments.”

Australia and the UAE enjoy close commercial ties with bilateral trade estimated to be worth $6 billion (Dh22 billion) annually and approximately 300 Australian companies registered in the emirates. This is the second memorandum the DIFC Courts have signed with an Australian judiciary following a similar agreement with the New South Wales Supreme Court in September 2013.

Since their jurisdiction was opened to businesses worldwide in October 2011, the DIFC Courts’ judgments can be enforced internationally through treaties such as the GCC Protocol and Riyadh convention; treaties with China, India and France; and reciprocal arrangements with many common law courts overseas, including the Commercial Court of England and Wales.

The memoranda signed by the DIFC Courts and their Australian counterparts build on similar agreements signed by the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and its independent regulator the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA). The DIFC has formal ties with New South Wales Trade and Investment and the Australia Gulf Council, while the DFSA has a co-operation agreement with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.