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H.H. Sheikh Mohamed Bin Soud Al Khasimi, Issues RAK Law No. 1 of 2019, to Establish Commercial Court in RAK


Ras Al Khaimah is one of seven’s emirates of the UAE. Recently the World Bank report pointed out, Ras Al Khaimahas one of the best economy for contract enforcements and “it's Ease of Doing Business”. The reportplaces theUAE among the top 30 economies on the ease of doing business. Making UAE and the Middle East regionan attractive hub for internationalbusiness.

Indeed, as it is a purpose on this short overview, we will highlight the fact that this legislative reform of the Ras AL Khaimah emirate join the worldwide trends of commercial dispute resolution with a creation of a Commercial Court.


RAK Law No. 1 on the 30th of June 2019 state that a Commercial Court will be established in Ras Al Khaimah emirate and shall start work on 8th September 2019. H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Crown Prince of Ras Al Khaimah and Chairman of the Judicial Council, has ordered the establishment of the Ras Al Khaimah Commercial Court and Ahmed Mohammed Al Khateri, Chairman of the Courts Department in Ras Al Khaimah, has ordered and briefed its teams so as to this new Court will work “in the times schedules”.

It is right to say that this regulation is a last stone to an efficient commercial judicial system of the Ras Al Khaimah. An efficient commercial dispute resolution purpose is in all minds, such as we already could see on previous decision of the Ras Al Khaimah judicial Court No. 36 on 2016 and No. 13 on 2017. These recent decisions stated that the Court shall have special court like the one day court, and circuits for partial claims, fully claims, appeal and cassation and also shall have exclusive jurisdiction circuits . same apply for the commercial Court established which took over the commercial matters and cases and applied same order to be handled in front of the commercial court established (it should mentioned on this decision’s court , please advise if we need to add anything “Already amended in blue”).

It will be interesting to point out characteristics of this new commercial court. We also have to see main points that will be raised strengthening efficiency of commercial dispute resolution by this court. The purpose and news insights targeted by this Law will be highlight as well. For these reasons, we will suggest to see first Why is this law important (I.) , then we will focused on what the effect this law will have (II.), on the third point we will deal with issue of changing provided by this law (III.) and finally we will see what does this mean (IV).

I.Enhancement of legal framework, unify system and certainty of business -

This law implement and complete the Ras Al Khaimah emirate legal system. The initial text of the last 30th of June set up an independent commercial Court within the Judicial system of Ras Al Khaimah. The material and territorial scope of application are strictly limited to the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah and the Commercial Court is competent for any commercial issue, dispute or any commercial practices hindered by one or several parties into commercial’s relations. The need to let economy’s activities and investments growth promptly, safely but also securely in all aspects of business and financial matter carry on along the path of judicial and jurisdictional reforms of the Ras Al Khaimah emirate.

This reform involves naturally a special Court dedicated to commercial issues and business laying down commercial matter in the purpose to provide, for the business actors, current or future, a suitable forum for their disputes. For this reasons, in addition to this commercial court, this law set up also an office to manage all requests and commercial hurdle rise by the parties to a panel’s specialist in commercial law whose the main task is assessing the case before referring them to judges.

From a material scope point of view, the new commercial court has an exclusive jurisdiction on all commercial matters submit to the jurisdiction within Ras Al Khaimah emirate.

Finally, law No. 1 of 2009 is also historic insofar as it is setting up a separate, independent and special jurisdiction under UAE law to handle the commercial cases as an exclusive jurisdiction.

II. Ras AL Khaimah on the path of attractiveness through secure and safe dedicated dispute resolution jurisdiction.

Simplify and provide to the parties a suitable and unify forum to know their dispute improves attractiveness of the territory where this jurisdiction is based. If Ras Al Khaimah can provide to the business actors a such jurisdiction exclusively dedicated to the commercial dispute, business actors will see, in this place, a secure and safe place to conduct their business.

Indeed, to secure and enhance business relation and attract business actor to invest in some part of the world, that is what it has been done on other international business area with a positive impact on the investment and economy activities. For example, in Belgium, government set up the new Brussels International Business Center, or in the Netherland as well, publics authorities ordered setting up of the Netherland Commercial Court, that it has joined Singapore with the Singapore International Commercial Court. In Paris also, in 2017, the French Court of Appeal has set up a new chamber within the Court of appeal named “International Commercial Chamber of the Paris Court of Appeal” totally dedicated to the complex and commercial dispute resolution. Everywhere a such jurisdictions have been created, we’ve noted an increasing number of cases presented there by international parties with interests or investments on their jurisdiction. The result expected with setting up of the new commercial jurisdiction of Ras Al Khaimah shall be the same, an increasing of investment resulting of the new forum represented by this jurisdiction.

II.What will change?

Who’re talking about a new jurisdiction shall mentioned impacts on the changes that it will be able to bring with it. This new jurisdiction would give for the first time a specialized commercial forum for business actors to know their dispute. However, we’ve already mentioned that this jurisdiction will be also composed with an office to hear and assess these cases I order to know if this case could be brought before judges of the Commercial Court. Therefore, the need of staff, judges and experts could raised very quickly in a near future. Furthermore, the evolution of this court should also turn out to be increased importantly in front of the different subject matters and contracts that the parties will be able to have. For these reasons, we can expended that this new jurisdiction will be divided in different Chamber to know specifically a matters rather than another. Judges and experts would be named in terms of their specialties and would be placed in chamber of such specialties. Also good to mention that it shall need a certain qualification of the expert appointed by the court in case the court need to get an expert opinion or recommendations … etc.

Moreover, who’re talking about a specialized chamber will be able to mention specialized regulations applicable before this jurisdiction. This is a reason we can expect that Ras Al Khaimah’s government will proceed to the enactment of specialized regulation related to commercial matter. An increasing number of the commercial regulations more accurate and more detailed will be enacted by the local government to provide to the parties a legal framework in compliance with they are looking for in Ras Al Khaimah, and so a jurisdiction that will know dispute on the framework of these regulations.

III.What does this mean?

This law is entirely in line with economics reforms started few years ago by publics authorities. To achieve purpose to be an suitable business place for investors and growing as a one of strongest economy in the region, government has started reforms. This law of June 2019 is it a perfect example.

The legal system should become more liberal, and this jurisdiction should constitute one another stone of the strong legal system of this emirate.

After construction, financial service, tourism and other part of Ras Al Khaimah’s economy, judicial system highly specialized and focus only commercial matter and, no doubt that a well understanding of business will strengthen construction of Ras Al Khaimah emirate as one of leader in the region, and in the world.
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