This Practice Direction will come into effect on the date of issuance. It may be cited as ‘Tribunal Practice Direction No. 2 of 2010 – Establishment of a Small Claims Panel’ and may be abbreviated to TPD 002/2010.
Small Claims Panel
1. This Practice Direction should be read in conjunction with Decree 57 of 2009 issued by His Highness the Ruler of Dubai, as amended by Decree 11 of 2010.
2. In accordance with Article 2(c) of Decree 11 of 2010, I hereby establish a special judicial panel of the Tribunal entitled the ,,Small Claims Panel (the ,,SC Panel).
3. The following judges shall be the initial members of the SC Panel
(a) HE Justice Omar Al Muhairi (of the DIFC Courts);
(b) HE Justice Ali Al Madhani (of the DIFC Courts);
(c) HE Justice Dr. Jamal Hussain Alsumaity (of the Dubai Courts); and
(d) HE Justice Abdulla Ahmed Alkaytob (of the Dubai Courts).
4. The SCT Panel shall be entitled to decide any claims and demands that –
(a) are within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal; and
(b) are transferred to the SC Panel by direction in writing of the Chairman or another member of the Tribunal; and
(c) satisfy any one of the following three conditions
(i) the amount of the claim or the value of the subject matter of the claim does not exceed AED 100,000 (one hundred thousand UAE Dirhams);
(ii) the claim pertains to the employment or former employment of a party by another party and all parties to the claim elect in writing that it shall be heard by the SC Panel; or
(iii) the amount of the claim or the value of the subject matter of the claim does not exceed AED 500,000 (five hundred thousand UAE Dirhams) and all parties to the claim elect in writing that it shall be heard by the SC Panel.
5. For the purposes of this Practice Direction, claims shall include counterclaims, save that where a counterclaim would not otherwise be within the jurisdiction of the SC Panel, the Chairman or another member of the Tribunal shall have power to direct pursuant to Article 4(b) above that the counterclaim shall not be transferred to the SC Panel.
6. Employment where used in this Practice Direction shall mean the relationship under a contract for the provision of services by a natural person (whether under a contract of employment or otherwise).
7. Part 53 of the Rules of the DIFC Courts (“RDC”) other than RDC 53.2 (dealing with the jurisdiction of the SCT) and RDC 53.73 53.78 (dealing with appeals) shall apply to the operation of the SC Panel, with the following amendments-
(i) references to the Small Claims Tribunal (“the SCT”) shall be read as references to the SC Panel;
(ii) references to the Court of DIFC Courts shall be read as references to the Tribunal;
(iii) references to the SCT Registrar shall be read as references to the Deputy Registrar of the Tribunal;\
(iv) references to a SCT Judge shall be read as references to a single member of the SC Panel save in relation to hearings as stated below; and
(v) Article 53.42 shall be read as if it provided
“53.42 Claims for which a hearing is arranged in accordance with Article 53.34(2) above shall be heard by three members of the SC Panel who if not unanimous may reach a majority decision. Unless the parties agree otherwise, the said three members shall not include the same SC Panel member who conducted the consultation.”.
8. For the avoidance of doubt, and without prejudice to the foregoing, references to “SCT Judge” and “the SCT” in Articles 53.43 53.67 shall be read as references to the three members of the SC Panel who conduct the hearing pursuant to Article 53.42 as amended by paragraph 7(v) above.
Chairman of the Tribunal
Date issued: 30 March 2010