Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (Jafza) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Dubai Courts for establishing a Virtual Reality Smart Court to handle labour litigations involving companies operating from the Free Zone and its business units.
A dedicated chamber for the "Smart Court" will be established at the Free Zone to conduct hearings and adjudicate through live direct transmission broadcasting sessions between the Dubai Courts judges and the parties concerned.
An electronic link will be established between Jafza's systems and the Dubai Court Service System (Labour Courts), enabling the parties to connect securely.
Cases will be heard and disposed of remotely as litigants will no longer need to be physically present at the Dubai Courts premises, saving time and promoting an efficient and practical approach to litigation.
The technology-driven Virtually Reality Smart Court will be supported by high levels of cybersecurity systems, enabling the judges, lawyers, companies and litigants to remain connected the entire time.
Mohammed Al Muallem, CEO and Managing Director, DP World UAE Region and CEO of Jafza, said:
"Innovation drives our operations and administrative functions at Jafza. With over 8,600 companies and more than 144,000 jobs sustained within Jafza and its business units, our legal departments handle a multitude of cases at once. The Smart Court is a qualitative leap for our free zones’ legal and judicial processes and will help us deliver savings in time, cost and most importantly the distress caused to the litigants required to commute long distances between their base in the Free Zone and Dubai Courts.
"The remote courtroom located in Jebel Ali will benefit judges and other officials of Dubai Courts, as they will be able to conduct hearings through highly secure electronic connections at their chambers. Using technology to enhance our legal systems is part of our policy of creating new value for our shareholders and is inspired by Dubai's goal of building a Smart City."
HE Taresh Al Mansouri, Managing Director of Dubai Courts, said:
“These efforts reflect the spirit of cooperation between government agencies in Dubai as part of Dubai Courts' strategy to develop judicial services. The agreement between Dubai Courts and Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority is the cornerstone for strengthening our joint efforts to enhance labour relations and settlement of labour disputes in a manner not inconsistent with the applicable laws and regulations in the UAE.
“The agreement comes in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to provide services to the highest standards of quality for the benefit of the customers. It opens new horizons to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and speed in the implementation of judgments, orders and judicial decisions, and paves the way for a new phase of excellence in line with the common endeavours to advance the process of smart transformation of Dubai into the happiest city in the world.”
The Smart Court will include a conference room equipped with state-of-the-art technology to enable the remote sessions. It will enable all those involved in a case, from judges and legal aides to the parties engaged in the litigation access to the relevant documents, officials and support systems. A Legal Assistant will serve as a link between the Free Zone and the Dubai Labour Courts during the conduct of hearings.
The Smart Court will serve the legal requirements of Jafza and its related business units. As a major international free zone operator, Jafza is a leading hub to companies with a diverse background of legal systems and languages. Multinational Corporations can have increased confidence that their case will be dealt with under an efficient, fair and impartial commercial legal system.