On 19 September 2018, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Ruler of Dubai, issued Decree No. 28 of 2018 concerning the Acceptance of the Civil Petitions before Dubai Courts (the Decree). The Decree was issued by His Highness to address the procedures in filing appeals to the Court of Cassation. The Court of Cassation is the highest court in Dubai.
Article No. 173 of Federal Law No. 11 of 1992 (as amended) (the Civil Procedures Law) provides that appeals to the Court of Cassation must be filed within 60 days of the judgment of the Court of Appeal. A matter is appealable to the Court of Cassation on questions of law, and provided that the value of the dispute exceeds AED 200,000 (Article 176).
Prior to the Decree, appellants were required to make payment of the Court of Cassation fee of approximately AED 6,000 and file a detailed petition of appeal before the expiry of the 60 day deadline. Over the past few years, several appeals were rejected by the Dubai Court of Cassation because the payment of the Cassation Court fee was delayed beyond the 60 day deadline, even though the petition of appeal itself was filed in time.
The Decree seeks to address this issue by clarifying that the Cassation Court fee may be paid within three working days of the Case Management Office requiring the petitioner to pay the fee, irrespective of the 60 day limit to file the appeal. The Head of the Dubai Court is given discretion to amend this time frame. Going forward, parties wishing to appeal to the Court of Cassation are still required to file the appeal petition within the 60 day deadline, but only need to make arrangements to ensure that payment is made as soon as the Case Management Office requires it.
The Decree further provides that a party which had its petition dismissed for reasons of delay in payment of the Cassation Court fee after 3 May 2015 may apply to the Court of Cassation for reconsideration of the dismissed petition. Such applications must be made within 30 days of the Decree coming into effect. This option is not available where the Cassation petition itself was delayed for more than 60 days (i.e. as opposed to the payment of the fee).
The Decree will come into force upon being published in the Gazette, which is yet to occur. Dubai is not part of the Federal Court structure, and the Decree is applicable only with respect to proceedings before the Dubai Court of Cassation. ■