The DIFC Courts today added an additional layer of certainty for international commerce with the signing of a Memorandum of Guidance with the Federal Court of Australia. The document covering the mutual enforcement of money judgements between the two courts was signed by their respective Chief Justices during a ceremony in Melbourne, Australia.
Australia and the UAE enjoy close commercial ties with bilateral trade estimated to be worth USD 6 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.
The memoranda signed by the DIFC Courts and their Australian counterparts build on similar agreements signed by the Dubai International Financial Centre and its independent regulator the Dubai Financial Services Authority. 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 in place with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
Michael Hwang, Chief Justice of the DIFC Courts, said: “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. 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.”
The Honourable Justice James Allsop, Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Australia, added: “The memorandum, whilst not altering substantive law, assists in clarifying relevant processes and thus assists commercial parties in the speedy and cost effective enforcement of money judgments.”
H.E. Khalifa Saif Almazrooei, Chargé d'Affaires of the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Canberra, Australia, noted: “The DIFC Courts have signed memoranda with several judicial authorities across the globe, including Australian states, helping to promote the economic and commercial interests of the UAE in general, and Dubai in particular. 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.”
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.