Use of Information Technology in Courts and Judicial System in the UAE
How E Trials Work in The UAE?
Information technology has become as common as the air we breathe. As such, countries all over the world are beginning to imbibe it into every societal sector, including education, politics, law, and healthcare. The United Arab Emirates has not been left out in this technological move. It has come to fully embrace the idea of information technology. Therefore, allowing it to permeate each sector, particularly the legal sector.
Consequently, the UAE has been making great strides in the use of Information technology (IT). According to the 2019 IMD World digital competitiveness report, the United Arab Emirates ranked 1st for digital advancement in the Arab region. And they held the position of 12th globally.
The advancement in the use of information technology has encouraged the growth of the different sectors in the UAE. One of these sectors which IT has positively influenced in the UAE is the legal sector. This impact was so evident that in the year 2017, the president of the UAE issued a Federal decree amending the Civil procedures Law. The amendment involved the inclusion of remote communication technology known as e-trials into the legal proceedings.
This goes to show how much information technology has taken roots in the UAE legal sector.
How E-trials Work in the UAE Legal Proceedings
The decree made by the president of the UAE added a new chapter to the Civil Procedures Law. The name of this chapter is “Usage of Remote Communication in Civil Proceedings.”
This chapter specifies what remote technology means. It defines remote technology as tools that enable audio and visual communication between more than one party at different locations. This communication covers the exchange of legal files and documents. The documents can display lawsuits, legal notices, trials, and execution the judge has decided on. Additionally, this remote technology uses videoconferencing for civil court trials and specialized court sessions.
This specialized court session involves the following:
- Labour hearings
- Financial lawsuits
- Contract lawsuits
- Intellectual property lawsuits and others
Naturally, in all these legal proceedings, the law stipulates that the court satisfies certain attendance and publicity requirements. This same rule applies even when the court makes use of remote communication.
Also, in Article 33 of the Federal Constitution, the court chief, the judge, or anybody authorized by him has the right to allow trial proceedings through remote communication technology. This type of proceeding can be done at every stage to facilitate the trial procedures.
Furthermore, the law allows any of the parties involved in the legal proceedings to seek a physical hearing. This can be done at whichever stage of the trial.
To do this a party places a request to the court for a physical hearing. The court will notify the other parties. Thereafter, the court will deliberate over the request and make its decision. Also, the amended constitution explains the aspect of confidentiality in the e-trials. It states that to protect the confidentiality of trial proceedings, the court will treat all audio and visual recordings as confidential files.
Therefore, the court will not allow anybody to tamper with the files without seeking permission from the appropriate authorities. Consequently, the court subjects all information from remote communication technology under the information security laws and regulations adopted in the UAE.
The Outcome of E-trials on the UAE Judicial System
The UAE’s international relations with other countries make e-trial important in their interactions. The UAE is an international community that has entered various reciprocal judicial cooperation treaties with other countries. These countries include the Gulf countries, China, France, India, and Egypt. The introduction of e-trials makes legal interactions between the UAE and the aforementioned countries easy.
Another major outcome of the e-trials is the introduction of a new system into Article 343. This new system allows for the submission of photocopies of original documents concerning civil lawsuits. Specifically, these are civil lawsuits that the court conducted through the use of remote communication technologies.
The law stipulates that other parties cannot object to the submission of photocopies unless they question the authenticity of the photocopied material. Or if the party claims that the photocopied material was not meant to be issued to them.
To make sure that all parties comply with this rule, the law has empowered the court to penalize any party that unjustifiably argues against the photocopied document. For this act, the court fines the guilty party between AED 1,000 to AED 10,000. In general, the introduction of IT creates an environment whereby there are no delays in legal processes.
At the same time, it makes the whole judicial process less stressful. These developments introduced into the UAE judicial system are intentional. These developments will serve as stepping stones to help the UAE achieve its plan of becoming one among the top 25 performers in the World Justice Project (WJP).
Benefits of E-Trial In The UAE
The use of Information technology allows for proper and accurate recordings of some cases. Unlike the paper-based where some files can be misplaced or tampered with which can negatively affect a party in the legal proceedings.
#2. Easy access to files and communication
Through the use of Information technology, legal practitioners can easily access online legal documents, case bundles, and the dates of hearings. Also, it helps for easy communication between the judge and attorneys as regards the legal sessions.
#3. Better sentencing
Because of the quick and easy access to large amounts of files, it is easy for the judge to go through similar cases handled in the past. This will enable them to ensure that their verdict is accurate.
Moreover, it helps to easily differentiate those the judges are sentencing who are having the same profile description.
#4. Virtual courts
Information technology allows some parties in a legal proceeding to attend legal sessions without being physically present. This eliminates the cost and time that will be wasted traveling to the court for a particular hearing.
For example, a witness doesn’t have to travel to the court to give their testimony. With the aid of information technology, they can give their testimony without being in the court premise.
#5. Online dispute resolution
The emergence of the use of Information technology for legal affairs has greatly helped in resolving civil claims. Civil claims such as dispute resolution.
Additionally, IT comes in handy, especially for international disputes. Consequently, it eliminates the need for conflicting parties to fly across the globe to each other’s country just to resolve a disagreement.
In resolving conflicts, the use of videoconferencing can suffice for the courtroom. And with the online presence of a mediator and the conflicting parties the disagreement can be amicably resolved. This can prove to be timely and cost-effective.
Hire an IT experienced lawyer in the UAE
Information technology has been widely used in courts to obtain and demonstrate evidence, to provide access to case records, and to provide access to judicial decisions. IT has also been used to facilitate electronic delivery of court documents and other court related information.
At Amal Khamis Advocates Legal Consultant, we have a well-grounded knowledge in the use of Information technology for legal purposes. Our firm has a strong presence in UAE and is one of the leading IT Law firms in Dubai.
We understand the times we are in and how IT has taken its roots in the UAE legal sector. Also not just in the UAE but every part of the world. That is why we have acquired adequate knowledge in information technology to carry out our legal activities effectively. Also, with over 50 years of legal practice, we have accumulated so much experience. This will help us to adequately deal with whatever legal issues you are experiencing.
Furthermore, we work very closely with our clients to meet their exact legal needs. Primarily, we handle commercial disputes between different companies. Contact us today to get a lawyer who has a strong grasp on information technology and legal matters.