• Chapter 1: Chapter 1: Practice & Procedure

    • 98. Proceedings to be held in public

      (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), or any other ADGM enactment, all hearings, including trials, shall be held in public.
      (2) The Court may make special arrangements for accommodating members of the public, if it considers it appropriate to do so.
      (3) The Court may direct that a hearing, or any part of it, be held in private if —
      (a) publicity would defeat the object of the hearing;
      (b) it involves matters relating to national security;
      (c) it involves confidential information (including information relating to personal financial matters) and publicity would damage that confidentiality;
      (d) a private hearing is necessary to protect the interests of a party or witness;
      (e) it is a hearing of an application made without notice and it would be unjust to any respondent for there to be a public hearing;
      (f) it involves uncontentious matters arising in the administration of trusts; or
      (g) the Court considers this to be necessary, in the interests of justice.
      (4) The Court may order that the identity of any party or witness must not be disclosed if it considers non-disclosure necessary —
      (a) in order to protect the interests of that party or witness; or
      (b) in the interests of justice.

    • 99. Proceedings to be conducted in English

      (1) All proceedings before any Court must be conducted in English.
      (2) For the purposes of this section "proceedings" means —
      (a) any pre-action correspondence between a party's legal or other representatives and another party, or a party's legal or other representatives and another party's legal or other representatives;
      (b) all correspondence between any or all of the parties once a claim form has been issued;
      (c) all court forms, pleadings, statements (including, but not limited to, witness statements and disclosure statements), expert reports and requests for further information;
      (d) all applications to any Court (whether made on paper or orally);
      (e) all hearings before any Judge or other officer of any Court (whether held in court or in chambers), including cross-examination of witnesses;
      (f) all orders whether drafted by any party or prepared by the Court of its own motion;
      (g) all judgments, decisions, directions or orders handed down by the Court whether orally or in writing.

    • 100. Commencing, carrying on and defending proceedings

      Subject to these Regulations, proceedings are to be commenced, carried on and defended in the manner prescribed by court procedure rules.

    • 101. Judges not to sit on appeal from their own judgments, etc.

      No Judge shall sit as a member of the Court of Appeal on the hearing of, or shall determine any application in proceedings incidental or preliminary to, an appeal from a judgment or order made in any cause or matter or by any Court of which he was a member or has had any involvement at any preliminary or interim stage.

    • 102. Sittings and vacations of the Court of Appeal

      (1) Sittings of the Court of Appeal may be held, and any other business of the Court of Appeal may be conducted, at any place in the world.
      (2) Subject to court procedure rules —
      (a) the places at which the Court of Appeal sits outside the Abu Dhabi Global Market;
      (b) the days and times at which the Court of Appeal sits at any place outside the Abu Dhabi Global Market; and
      (c) the manner in which any hearing is to be conducted (including by way of video conference, tele-conference or in person),
      shall be determined in accordance with directions given by the Chief Justice after consulting with the Chairman of the Board.
      (3) Court procedure rules may make provision for regulating the vacations to be observed by the Court of Appeal and in the offices of that Court.
      (4) Court procedure rules —
      (a) may provide for securing such sittings of the Court of Appeal during vacations as the Chief Justice may determine; and
      (b) without affecting paragraph (a), shall provide for the transaction during vacations by Judges of the Court of Appeal of all such business as that Court may require to be immediately or promptly transacted.
      (5) The Chief Justice may nominate a Judge of the ADGM Courts to exercise his functions under this section.

    • 103. Court divided in opinion

      If the Judges constituting a Full Court for the purposes of any proceedings are divided in opinion as to the judgment to be pronounced, judgment shall be pronounced according to the opinion of the majority.

    • 104. Court procedure rules, and decisions of the Court of Appeal, as to whether judgment or order is final or interim

      (1) Court procedure rules may provide for orders or judgments of any prescribed description to be treated for any prescribed purpose connected with appeals to the Court of Appeal as final or as interim.
      (2) No appeal shall lie from a decision of the Court of Appeal as to whether a judgment or order is, for any purpose connected with an appeal to that Court, final or interim.

    • 105. Business assigned to specially nominated Judges

      (1) Any business assigned, in accordance with these Regulations or any other ADGM enactment, to one or more specially nominated Judges of the Court of First Instance may —
      (a) during vacation; or
      (b) during the illness or absence of that Judge; or
      (c) for any other reasonable cause,
      be dealt with by any Judge of the Court of First Instance named for that purpose by the Chief Justice.
      (2) If at any time it appears to the Chief Justice to be desirable to do so with a view to the more convenient administration of justice, he may by order direct that business of any description which is for the time being assigned, in accordance with these Regulations or any other ADGM enactment, to one or more specially nominated Judges of the Court of First Instance shall cease to be so assigned and may be dealt with by any other one or more Judges of the Court of First Instance.
      (3) The Chief Justice may nominate a Judge of the ADGM Courts to exercise his functions under subsection (1) or (2).

    • 106. Proceedings in Court and in chambers

      Business in the Court of First Instance shall be heard and disposed of in Court except in so far as it may, under these Regulations or any other ADGM enactment, under court procedure rules or in accordance with the practice of the Court, be dealt with in chambers.

    • 107. Exercise of Court of First Instance jurisdiction otherwise than by Judges of that Court

      (1) Provision may be made by court procedure rules as to the cases in which the jurisdiction of the Court of First Instance may be exercised by —
      (a) such Recorders as the Chief Justice may from time to time nominate to deal with official referees' business; or
      (b) special referees.
      (2) Without affecting the generality of subsection (1), court procedure rules may in particular authorise any question arising in any cause or matter to be referred to a special referee for inquiry and report.
      (3) Court procedure rules shall not authorise the exercise of powers of attachment by a special referee or any officer or other staff of the Court.
      (4) Subject to subsection (5), the decision of —
      (a) any such person as mentioned in subsection (1); or
      (b) any officer or staff of the Court,
      may be called into question in such manner as may be prescribed by court procedure rules, whether by appeal to the Court of Appeal, or by an appeal or application to a Judge in Court or a Judge in chambers, or by an adjournment to a Judge in Court or a Judge in chambers.
      (5) Court procedure rules may provide either generally or to a limited extent for decisions of persons nominated under subsection (1)(a) being called into question only by appeal on a question of law.
      (6) The cases in which the jurisdiction of the Court of First Instance may be exercised by persons nominated under subsection (1)(a) shall be known as "official referees' business"; and subject to court procedure rules, the distribution of official referees' business among persons so nominated shall be determined in accordance with directions given by the Chief Justice after consulting the Board.
      (7) Any reference to an official referee in any enactment, whenever passed, or in court procedure rules or any other instrument or document, whenever made, shall, unless the context otherwise requires, be construed as, or (where the context requires) as including, a reference to a person nominated under subsection (1)(a).
      (8) The Chief Justice may nominate a Judge of the ADGM Courts to exercise his functions under subsections (1)(a) and (6).

    • 108. Assessors

      (1) In any cause or matter before the Court of First Instance, the Court may, if it thinks it expedient to do so, call in the aid of one or more assessors specially qualified, and hear and dispose of the cause or matter wholly or partially with their assistance.
      (2) The remuneration, if any, to be paid to an assessor for his services under subsection (1) in connection with any proceedings shall be determined by the Court, and shall form part of the costs of the proceedings.

    • 109. Sittings and vacations of the Court of First Instance

      (1) Sittings of the Court of First Instance may be held, and other business of the Court of First Instance may be conducted, at any place in the world.
      (2) Subject to court procedure rules —
      (a) the places at which the Court of First Instance sits outside the Abu Dhabi Global Market;
      (b) the days and times when the Court of First Instance sits at any place outside the Abu Dhabi Global Market; and
      (c) the manner in which any hearing is to be conducted (including by way of video conference, tele-conference or in person),
      shall be determined in accordance with directions by the Chief Justice after consulting the Board.
      (3) Court procedure rules may make provision for regulating the vacations to be observed by the Court of First Instance and in the offices of that Court.
      (4) Court procedure rules —
      (a) may provide for securing such sitting of the Court of First Instance during vacation as the Chief Justice may determine; and
      (b) without affecting paragraph (a), shall provide for the transaction during vacation by Judges of the Court of First Instance of all such business in the Court of First Instance as may require to be immediately or promptly transacted.
      (5) The Chief Justice may nominate a Judge of the ADGM Courts to exercise his functions under this section.

    • 110. Proof of documents bearing seal or stamp of the Courts or any office thereof

      (1) Every document purporting to be sealed or stamped with the seal or stamp of the Courts or of any office of the Courts shall be received in evidence in the Abu Dhabi Global Market without further proof.
      (2) Court procedure rules may make provision for which documents require sealing or stamping by the Courts.

    • 111. Enrolment and engrossment of instruments

      (1) The Chief Justice may make rules for authorising and regulating the enrolment or filing of instruments in the Courts, and for prescribing the form in which certificates of enrolment or filing are to be issued.
      (2) Rules made under subsection (1) shall not affect the operation of any enactment requiring or authorising the enrolment of any instrument in the Courts or prescribing the manner in which any instrument is to be enrolled there.
      (3) Any instrument which is required or authorised by or under any rules to be enrolled or engrossed in the Courts shall be deemed to have been duly enrolled or engrossed if it is written on material authorised or required by rules made under subsection (1) and has been filed or otherwise preserved in accordance with rules made under that subsection.
      (4) The Chief Justice may make rules prescribing the fees to be paid on the enrolment or filing of any instrument in the Courts, including any additional fees payable on the enrolment or filing of any instrument out of time.

    • 112. Bonds given under order of Court

      (1) A bond to be given by any person under or for the purposes of any order of the Court of First Instance or the Court of Appeal shall be given in such form and to such officer of the Court as may be prescribed and, if the Court so requires, with one or more sureties.
      (2) An officer of the Court to whom a bond is given in accordance with subsection (1) shall have power to enforce it or to assign it, pursuant to an order of the Court under subsection (4), to some other person.
      (3) Where, by court procedure rules made for the purposes of this section, another officer of the Court is, at any time, substituted for the officer previously prescribed as the officer to whom bonds of any class are to be given, the court procedure rules may provide that bonds of that class which were given before those court procedure rules come into operation shall have effect as if references in the bonds to the officer previously prescribed were references to the substituted officer.
      (4) Where it appears to the Court that the condition of a bond given in accordance with subsection (1) has been broken, the Court may, on application, order the bond to be assigned to such person as may be specified in the order.
      (5) A person to whom a bond is ordered to be assigned under subsection (4) shall be entitled by virtue of the order to sue on the bond in his own name as if it had been originally given to him, and to recover on it as trustee for all persons interested in the full amount recoverable in respect of the breach of condition.

    • 113. Production of documents filed in, or in the custody of, the Courts

      (1) Court procedure rules may be made for providing that, in any case where a document filed in, or in the custody of, any office of the Courts is required to be produced to any Court or tribunal (including an umpire or arbitrator) sitting elsewhere than in the Abu Dhabi Global Market —
      (a) it shall not be necessary for any officer, whether or not served with a subpoena in that behalf, to attend for the purpose of producing the document; but
      (b) the document may be produced to the Court or tribunal by sending it to the Court or tribunal, in the manner prescribed in the court procedure rules, together with a certificate, in the form so prescribed, to the effect that the document has been filed in, or is in the custody of, the office,
      and any such certificate shall be prima facie evidence of the facts stated in it.
      (2) Court procedure rules under this section may contain —
      (a) provisions for securing the safe custody and return to the proper office of the Courts of any document sent to a Court or tribunal in pursuance of the court procedure rules; and
      (b) such incidental and supplementary provisions as appear to the Chief Justice, or his nominated judicial office holder, to be necessary or expedient.