Published: Feb 10, 2021

Recent judicial appointments affirm the DIFC Courts’ position as one of the pre-eminent common law jurisdictions in the region

In a series of recent judicial appointments, the DIFC Courts have affirmed its position as one of the pre-eminent common law jurisdictions in the region.

In December 2019, H.H the Ruler of Dubai swore in two new Australian judges to the bench of the DIFC Courts. Justice Robert French AC served as the twelfth Chief Justice of Australia (the most senior judge in the Australian judicial system), in office from 2008 to 2017. He was appointed to the Federal Court in 1986, serving as a justice on that court until his elevation to the High Court.

Justice Wayne Stewart Martin AC QC served as Chief Justice of Western Australia from 2006 until his retirement in 2018. Justice Martin is also the Lieutenant-Governor of Western Australia, having been sworn in on 9 October 2009.

In January 2021, The Rt. Hon Lord Justice Peter Gross was appointed a judge of the DIFC Courts. Sir Peter was appointed to the English Court of Appeal in 2010 and was appointed Deputy Senior Presiding Judge for England and Wales in October 2011, thereafter becoming Senior Presiding Judge for England and Wales from January 2013 to December 2015.

In February 2021, Lord Glennie, vice chairman of the board of the Scottish Arbitration Centre, joined Sir Peter on the bench as a judge of the Court of Appeal in the DIFC Courts. Lord Glennie was appointed a judge of the Court of Session in 2005 and became Principal Commercial Judge in 2007, a position which he held for some four years. He was appointed an arbitration judge in 2010, delivering the first judgments under the Arbitration (Scotland) Act 2010. In 2016 he was appointed to the First Division of the Inner House of the Court of Session and was also appointed to the Privy Council.

The DIFC Courts has also elevated H.E Justice Nassir Al Nasser to the bench of the Court of First Instance. Justice Nasser was appointed a Judicial Officer in November 2012 and was appointed a Small Claims Tribunal (SCT) Judge and Registrar in 2017.

Also appointed to the Court of First Instance is H.E Justice Maha Al Mheiri. Justice Al Mheiri was most recently a Judge of the SCT and prior to that a Case Progression Officer and Judicial Officer of the Court.

In addition to these significant judicial appointments, the Court has recently appointed Nour Hineidi as Registrar of the DIFC Courts. Previously holding the role of Deputy Registrar since February 2018, Ms Hineidi oversees the functioning of the Court Registry and also presides as Registrar over a large number of procedural hearings and applications and is responsible for overseeing the case management function of the Court Registry.

The new judges join an already eminent bench of Emirati and international judges from Malaysia, the UK and Australia and these latest appointments serve to demonstrate the DIFC Courts’ on-going commitment to providing a first class dispute resolution forum for all of its users, both practitioners and litigants alike.

If you have any questions regarding the DIFC Courts, please contact either Rita Jaballah or Peter Wood.

Key Contacts

Rita Jaballah

Partner, Head of International Litigation