In this case the Claimant sought, on two grounds, a stay of execution of a judgment. The Claimant's first argument in support of the stay was that the case related to property ownership. The second argument was that the judgment was the subject of an appeal to the Court of Cassation.

Facts of the case
A judgment was issued by the Court of First Instance in favour of the Defendant, which judgment cancelled a Sales & Purchase Contract entered into between the parties and compelled the Claimant to pay the Defendant the amount of AED 3,184,500 plus interest and legal fees. The Court of Appeal upheld the first instance decision and the Defendant consequently filed a claim with the execution judge in order to enforce the judgment. The Claimant subsequently appealed to the Court of Cassation by filing an urgent request that the execution of the judgment be stayed based on article 175 of the UAE Civil Procedure Law (CPL).

Court of First Instance

As to the form

The Court of First Instance confirmed that pursuant to Article 220(1) of the CPL, only the execution judge is competent to decide on the temporary execution objection.

As to the substance
The effect of Article 175 of the CPL was clarified by the Court of First Instance. It was held that there are two categories of stays of enforcement capable of submission to the Court of Cassation, being a compulsory stay of enforcement and an optional stay of enforcement.

Compulsory stays of enforcement are normally granted when the appealed judgment is related to divorce, annulment of marriage or proprietorship/ownership. Optional stays of enforcement are generally granted in other circumstances falling within the full discretion of the Court.

The Court ruled that with respect to compulsory stays of enforcement the objector may lodge its objection with the execution judge on the grounds prescribed by Article 175 of the CPL. The granting of optional stays of enforcement, on the other hand, falls within the full discretion of the Court.

Importantly, however, the Court held that the appeal of a judgment relating to the proprietorship/ ownership of a property automatically attracts a stay of enforcement.

Finally, the Court ordered that as the appealed judgment related to the proprietorship / ownership of a property and its execution should be stayed.

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