On 13 May 2020, the Commercial Court of Dubai issued Decision No. (10) of 2020 concerning the establishment of a virtual payment order department at the Commercial Court (the Decision), which came into force on 17 May 2020.

The Decision created a new limited-jurisdiction department called the Payment-Order Objections Department affiliated to the Commercial Court.

Previously, any objections to payment orders were to be made before the same court that issued the order. This newly established department shall have jurisdiction over objections to payment orders, precautionary attachments, commercial complaints relating to orders issued in commercial offer deposit files, commercial disputes, disputes related to expert appointments, orders on petitions, and objections referred to it by the President of the Commercial Court. This department shall also have the power to issue orders up to such amount as is within the jurisdiction of the Court of First Instance (i.e. 500K AED for partial courts, any amount above 500K AED for Full Court).

The Decision will ease the burden on the Commercial Court by allowing it to focus on the original, substantive disputes than ancillary matters, now under the purview of the newly established department. Furthermore, easing processes and procedures for litigants and the courts by allowing it to work remotely is especially important during the current circumstances. Such measures are indicative of officials observing and learning from events as they unfold and looking ahead to how things should look post-COVID-19.

On an administrative note:

  • Case codes for matters before this department will reference the original/root case.
  • Judge Mohammed Al Sayed Mohammed Awadh shall preside over this new panel.
  • Hearings will be held remotely and only every Tuesday commencing 10:00am. While the remote nature of the hearings is due to continue post-COVID-19, it will also help the judiciary function smoothly during this trying time.

Originally published 20 May, 2020

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