Guarantees in the Use of Telecommunications Technology in Litigation before UAE Civil Courts and Its Compliance with International Standards
In 2005, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) legislature authorized the use of telecommunications technology into the delivery of government services. Such use was extended to the judiciary in (i) 2017 in amendments to the Civil Procedures Law, (ii) 2018 by issuing the Civil Procedure Regulation, and (iii) 2019 by a Ministerial Decision regulating its use. Deployment of this technology has guaranteed the fulfilment of swift justice in the UAE’s courts through the advantages of simplicity, swiftness, low cost, equality between the litigants. In addition, it supports the State’s policy of implementing modern technologies to more efficiently process everyday transactions. However, major questions remain about the guarantees offered to litigants when using this system, whether these guarantees actually improve traditional (i.e. non-electronic) litigation process, and the extent to which these guarantees comply with international standards related to principles and rules of litigation. The paper argues that the recent legislative amendments provide similar and more advanced guarantees for remote litigation, such as the lack of objections by litigants; records of remote litigation being confidential and protected; information security policies; the principles of publicity and confrontation between the litigants being fulfilled; and, the right of defence being guaranteed. In the conclusion, the paper suggests additional amendments to UAE law so that litigation guarantees are fully assured when using technology in litigation before the civil courts.
Kandeel, Moustafa Elmetwaly