• PART 1 PART 1 — Scope And Interpretation

    • 1. Citation and commencement

      These Rules may be cited as the ADGM Court Procedure Rules 2016 and shall come into force on 30 May 2016.

    • 2. Scope and objective

      (1) Except as provided by a rule, practice direction or other ADGM enactment, these Rules apply to all proceedings in the Court of First Instance and in the Court of Appeal.
      (2) The overriding objective of these Rules is to secure that the system of civil justice in the ADGM Courts is accessible, fair and efficient.
      (3) The ADGM Courts must interpret and apply these Rules and any practice direction with a view to securing that the Court is accessible, fair and efficient and that unnecessary disputes over procedural matters are discouraged.
      (4) Practice directions may modify or disapply any provision of these Rules during the operation of pilot schemes for assessing the use of new practice directions and procedures.

    • 3. Interpretation

      (1) In these Rules —
      (a) "Abu Dhabi Global Market" means the financial free zone established by Federal Decree No. (15) of 2013 issued by the President of the United Arab Emirates, as delimited by Resolution No. (4) of 2013 of the Cabinet of the United Arab Emirates and as governed by the ADGM Founding Law, and "ADGM" is construed accordingly;
      (b) "ADGM enactment" means a regulation or rule enacted by the Board;
      (c) "ADGM Founding Law" means Law No. (4) of 2013 concerning the Abu Dhabi Global Market, as amended by Law No. (12) of 2020, issued by His Highness the Ruler;
      (d) “appellant”, except where the context otherwise requires, means a person who files an application for permission to appeal or who files a notice of appeal;
      (e) “Board” means the Board of Directors of the Abu Dhabi Global Market as constituted by Article 4 of the ADGM Founding Law;
      (f) “business day” means any day other than a Friday, Saturday or a public holiday;
      (g) "certificate of service" means a certificate given under Rule 21;
      (h) “claim” includes a petition and any application made before proceedings are commenced or made to commence proceedings;
      (i) "claimant" means a person who makes a claim;
      (j) “claim form” means any document which initiates proceedings, including a counterclaim;
      (k) “the Companies Regulations” means the Companies Regulations 2015;
      (l) “the Court” means the Court of First Instance or the Court of Appeal, as the context requires;
      (m) “the Courts” means the ADGM Courts;
      (n) “Court officer” means a member of the Court staff but does not include a Judge of the Courts;
      (o) “defendant” means a person against whom a claim is made;
      (p) “eCourts Platform” means the ADGM Courts electronic filing and case management systems;
      (q) “electronic means” means CD ROMs, memory sticks, clouds, e-mail, facsimile, or any other means of electronic communication of the contents of documents;
      (r) “Emirate” means the Emirate of Abu Dhabi;
      (s) “file” and “filing”, in relation to a document, means filing in the registry in accordance with Rule 13, and related expressions have corresponding meanings;
      (t) “form” and the “form prescribed” have the meanings given by Rule 5;
      (u) “Judge” means, as the context requires, the Chief Justice, Registrar, Justice of Appeal or Justice of First Instance;
      (v) “the jurisdiction” means, unless the context otherwise requires or provides, Abu Dhabi Global Market;
      (w) “lawyer” means someone who is authorised to practice law in any jurisdiction by the body authorised to regulate the admission, licensing and conduct of lawyers in that jurisdiction;
      (x) “legal representative” means a lawyer or lawyer’s employee who has been instructed to act for a party in relation to proceedings;
      (y) “month”, where it occurs in any ADGM enactment, rule, practice direction, judgment, order, direction or other document, means a Gregorian calendar month;
      (z) “original court” in relation to any judgment means the recognised court which gave the judgment;
      (aa) “party” means a claimant, defendant, applicant, respondent, appellant and a person who has been given permission to intervene under Part 7 of these Rules;
      (bb) “person” means any natural or legal person as the context requires;
      (cc) “public holiday” means New Year’s Day, Al-Mawlid Al Nabawi, Israa & Miaraj Night, Start of Ramadan, Eid Al Fitr, Arafat (Haj) Day, Eid Al Adha, Hijri New Year’s Day, UAE National Day and any other day declared by the Emirate to be a public holiday;
      (dd) “Registrar” means the Registrar and Chief Executive of the ADGM Courts;
      (ee) “registration” means registration under sections 172 to 176 of the Regulations, the expressions "register" and "registered" shall be construed accordingly;
      (ff) “registry” means the office of the ADGM Courts;
      (gg) “the Regulations” means, unless the context otherwise requires or provides, the ADGM Courts, Civil Evidence, Judgments, Enforcement and Judicial Appointments Regulations 2015;
      (hh) “right of audience” means the right to appear before and address a court, including the right to call and examine witnesses;
      (ii) “right to conduct litigation” means the right to issue proceedings before any court in any jurisdiction, to commence, prosecute and defend such proceedings and to perform any ancillary functions in relation to such proceedings;
      (jj) “serve” and “service”, in relation to a document, mean service according to the methods set out in Part 4 of these Rules, and related expressions have corresponding meanings;
      (kk) “statement of case” means a claim form, a defence, a claim under the Rule 30 procedure, or a reply to defence, and includes any further information given in relation to them voluntarily or by Court order in accordance with Rule 54;
      (ll) “summary judgment” is to be interpreted in accordance with Part 9 of these Rules.
      (2) References in these Rules to a practice direction means a practice direction issued by the Chief Justice.
      (3) References in these Rules or in any practice direction or in any form to a party’s signing, filing or serving any document or taking any other procedural step include the signature,filing or service of that document or the taking of such other procedural step by the party’s lawyer.
      (4) Where any of these Rules or any practice direction requires a document to be signed, that requirement shall be satisfied if the signature is printed by computer or other mechanical means.
      (5) Where any of these Rules or any practice direction requires or permits the Court to perform an act of a formal or administrative character, that act may be performed by a Court officer.
      (6) Any term that is not defined in these Rules has the same meaning as that attributed to it in the ADGM Courts, Civil Evidence, Judgments, Enforcement and Judicial Appointments Regulations 2015.
      Amended on June 1 2017
      Amended on July 9 2020
      Amended on November 2 2020

    • 4. Court documents

      (1) The Court may place the Court's seal on a document by hand or electronically.
      (2) A document purporting to bear the Court's seal shall be admissible in evidence without further proof.

    • 5. Forms

      (1) In these Rules, a "form" or "form prescribed" means a form required to be used in accordance with a practice direction.
      (2) The forms shall be used in the cases to which they apply and in the circumstances for which they are required under the relevant practice direction, but a form may be varied by the Court or a party if the variation is required by the circumstances of a particular case.

    • 6. Time

      (1) A period of time expressed as a number of days shall be computed as clear days. So, in computing the number of days the day on which the period begins and, if the end of the period is defined by reference to an event, the day on which the event occurs is not included.
      (2) Where the specified period is 5 days or less and includes a Friday, Saturday or a public holiday, that day does not count.
      Amended on February 25, 2019

    • 7. Time limits

      (1) Where the Court gives a judgment, order or direction which imposes a time limit for doing any act, the last date for compliance must wherever practicable be expressed as a calendar date, and it must include the time of day by which the act must be done.
      (2) The Court may extend or shorten any time limit set by these Rules or any relevant practice direction (unless to do so would be contrary to any ADGM enactment), either on an application by one or more parties or of its own initiative.
      (3) The Registrar must notify the parties when a time limit is varied under this Rule.
      (4) An application for an extension of time may be granted after the time limit has expired.
      (5) Subject to the provisions of a relevant practice direction, when the period specified for doing any act at the registry ends on a day on which the office is closed, that act shall be in time if done on the next day on which the registry is open.