Court of Cassation: Family Cases

The decision in the Court of Appeal is not final as the parties retain the right to appeal to the Court of Cassation. However, the principles for this appeal are slightly different that the Court of Appeal and the Court of first Instance.

Following the judgment in the Appeals Court, the party can file an Execution of Judgment in order to enforce the orders of the court. This implies that the judgment issued in the Court of appeal is binding, however, it is not final.

The aggrieved party can chose to file an appeal in the Court of Cassation within a period of 30 days from the date of Judgment by the court of Appeal. The Court of Cassation is the highest court of law in the UAE. An important point to observe in the appeal made to the court of Cassation against a judgment by the court of appeal is that the appeal has to be based on a point of law and not a point of fact. This means that the Court of Cassation shall not be looking at the facts of the case, it will only review if the law in that case was appropriately enforced and whether all actions taken were according to the laws of the UAE. There is a panel of seven judges in the Court of Cassation.

It is also relevant to note that the court of Cassation does not, in normal circumstance, listen to witnesses and no witnesses may be produced in the Court of Cassation. However, there have been extremely rare exceptions to this rule and in our plethora of cases and copious amounts of experience, we have seen it happen only once. However, it cannot be considered an impossibility. It is extremely rare nevertheless. Hence, the parties are advised not to have any expectations of producing witnesses in the Court of Cassation as their judgment is based on a point of Law. The court of Cassation normally has three hearing, however, this number is not restricted and fewer or more hearings may take place.

The decision or judgment in the Court of Cassation can take one of three paths:

  1. Firstly, the court of Cassation may decide to send the case back to the Court of First Instance or the Court of Appeal and direct them to review and re-asses certain facts, complete any disparities in the case or to review the entire case from the beginning. In this case, the court directed to do this shall take the Court of Cassation's directive and act accordingly;
  2. Secondly, they can reject the petition of the party and uphold the judgment of the Court of Appeal;
  3. Thirdly, the Court of Cassation can accept the petition of the party and cancel, eject or alter the Judgment of the Court of Appeals, in part or in whole. This can sometimes imply that certain parts of the judgment are upheld while others are rejected. Any judgment by the court of Cassation cannot be appealed and is binding on all parties and institutions of the UAE.