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HomeSéparateurFocusSéparateurAsiaSéparateurUnited Arab EmiratesSéparateurMission of the UIHJ in Dubai (UAE) end of April 2011
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Mission of the UIHJ in Dubai (UAE) end of April 2011

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The Enforcement of Court Decisions in Consumerist Paradise

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From left to right: Mohamed Cherif, Bernard Menut, Ahmed Saeed Bin Hezeem, Yusuf Ali Hmaid Al Suwaidi
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A Methodical Organisation

None of the Persian Gulf countries to date is a member of the UIHJ. Given this situation, the board of the UIHJ wanted to conduct an exploratory and outreach mission in this region. A delegation of the UIHJ, consisting of Leo Netten (Chair), Bernard Menut (1st vice-chairman), Mohamed Cherif (assistant treasurer) and Fahima Khaldi (Algeria), visited the United Arab Emirates (UAE) (a Federation of seven neighbouring emirates, namely Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Sharjah, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al Khaimah and Umm al Qaiwain) at the end of April 2011 to meet the authorities responsible for the enforcement of judgments.
What immediately strikes the visitor as he steps off the plane in the Emirate of Dubai is the methodical organization prevailing in the Emirate, an impression that contrasts sharply with that which can be felt in many countries. Dubai seems to have succeeded in amalgamating the values of consumer society with that of Arab tradition, a blend of business and nonchalance. This impression lasts on the huge avenues on which cruises a succession of gleaming and luxury vehicles.
In air-conditioned consumption temples (the malls) housed in the Emirate of Dubai, the local, Asian or Western consumers comes shopping, blinded by the spotlights as many attractions are aiming at holding them inside for endless money spending. In this apparent, and probably partly overrated, prosperity, the sparks are the windows of these huge buildings that reflect the sun or artificial lights widely spread at night. Euphoric is the life on the spot, carefree are men and women in this time of consumerist paradise. Under the varnish of wealth, justice keeps watch and ensures its decisions are implemented by enforcement agents employed by the Dubai government within the Dubai Courts.

 

A Country Opened to the World

In the particularly functional and modern premises housing the Dubai Courts, the UIHJ delegation had a meeting with the Director General of Dubai Courts, Dr Ahmed Bin Saeed Hezeem. The latter, surrounded by a large number of judges and court officials, bowed respectfully to the delegation, praising the efforts for the realization of this study visit. Chairman Leo Netten presented the UIHJ, its objectives and the mission underway in Dubai, part of a deployment strategy of the UIHJ activities in the countries of the Arabian Peninsula. He insisted on the different missions of the judicial officer in the world and, emphasizing the globalization of the economy, he brought to light the need for change of judicial systems to accommodate and support the economy. He recalled that the judicial officer is an essential element of the rule of law and that despite different status, the objective of these professionals and the UIHJ is the efficiency of justice. He ended his speech to emphasize how in a country open to the world as is the emirate of Dubai, issues of cross-border enforcement of judgments are essential.
For his part Mr Saeed Bin Hezeem stressed his interest in the knowledge of other enforcement systems to conduct a comparative analysis to further improve the efficiency of the Dubai Courts as regards enforcement. He believes that the integration of the UAE in the UIHJ will be an important stimulus to achieve greater efficiency.
The first vice-president Bernard Menut stressed how the expertise of the UIHJ could be valuable for the UAE, particularly in terms of legislation on the enforcement of court decisions, organization of the profession of judicial officer and its status. He highlighted the interrelationship between effective and efficient enforcement of court decisions and investment. Mohamed Cherif referring to the Algerian model of judicial officer emphasized the interest for the Arab countries to have effective enforcement officers, trained on an independent model that can learn from the experience of Algeria.

 

A first step towards the participation of the UAE in the UIHJ

During a well-documented presentation masterfully led by Dr Ali Yusuf Al Suwaidi Hmaid, director of the Strategy and the Department of organization and performance of the Dubai Courts, the UIHJ delegation was impressed by the organization and the performance culture that exists within these jurisdictions. It is not incorrect to say that the Dubai Courts are managed as a large company with a high concern for "customer relations", that is to say the litigant, to whom the more advanced information technologies are available to enable him to inquire about the status of his case. The UIHJ delegation could thus measure the gap that exists for the benefit of the Emirate over the reception of litigants in certain European jurisdictions. An annual widely distributed (English and Arabic) activity report completes the impression of transparency while highlighting areas for improvement.
The enforcement of court decisions is provided in each court by a dedicated judge, using all the resources of the Emirate, including working closely with banks, police and port authorities to enforce court decisions. This concept obviously facilitates effective enforcement measures decided by the judge. These latter are not fundamentally different from those facing other countries, bank accounts, vehicles, wages and real property constituting the usual targets of enforcement. All enforcement procedures recorded in 2010 in Dubai Courts represents 15 000 cases that are treated swiftly, since as regards the commercial side, a case is enforced in an average 115 days according to the provided data. A roundtable discussion among the members of the delegation of the UIHJ and the enforcement judges gave the opportunity to compare different approaches relating to enforcement means, and the effectiveness of parties rights.
Finally, President Netten signed with Dr Saeed Bin Hezeem a memorandum of understanding binding the UIHJ and the Dubai courts. This is the first step towards the effective participation of the UAE in the UIHJ. After the traditional exchange of gifts, the two signatory parties planned to meet at the permanent council of Paris in November 2011. This first visit of the UIHJ in the UAE is likely to induce a connexion with other states in the Persian Gulf to ensure greater outreach to the UIHJ in the region.
 

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From left to right: Mohamed Cherif, Bernard Menut, Ahmed Saeed Bin Hezeem, Yusuf Ali Hmaid Al Suwaidi
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The delegation of the UIHJ, from L. to R.: Mohamed Cherif, Leo Netten, Bernard Menut, Fahima Khaldi
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Signature of the Memorandum of understanding, Leo Netten and Ahmed Saeed Bin Hezeem
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The information of the litigant, Bernard Menut and Ahmed Saeed Bin Hezeem
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Exchange of gifts
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During the guided visit: Bernard Menut, Ahmed Saeed Bin Hezeem, Leo Netten, Mohamed Cherif
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Palm Jumeirah
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