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DIFC launches smart court system

Small claims proceedings can be conducted remotely with telepresence solution

DIFC launches smart court system
(l-r): Mahika Hart, Case Progression Officer, DIFC Courts; Murugesan Vaithilingam, Services Director, Alpha Data; and Farid Abo El Fotouh, Services Director, Alpha Data.

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts has implemented a video conferencing solution to enable remote participation in small claims proceedings.

The ‘smart court' system, which can be used for Small Claims Tribunal (SCT) proceedings, was developed by systems integrator Alpha Data, and is based on Microsoft infrastructure. Both parties in dispute, as well as the judge, access to the case from remote locations on smartphones and computers.

The system is intended to increase flexibility and allow participants to attend sessions virtually, without having to be physically present. The Small Claims Tribunal handles employment cases and disputes concerning values of 500,000 AED ($136,000) or less.

Amna Sultan Al Owais, chief operating officer at DIFC Courts said: "The ‘smart court' initiative is a major step towards DIFC Courts' vision of becoming the world's leading and most innovative commercial court by 2021, in addition to supporting Dubai's bid to transform into a smart city. This development will also greatly increase confidence in Dubai as a progressive and world class centre for business."

Murugesan Vaithilingam, services director at Alpha Data added: "Successfully overcoming the limitations of geographical boundaries, the GCC's first ‘smart court' has effectively strengthened DIFC Courts' position as the region's most innovative commercial court. Alpha Data has a key role to play in this significant development. Our collaboration involved the reconfiguration of the court room on a completely scalable technology platform in line with the Dispute Resolution Authority's (DRA) roadmap and their compliance requirements. We supervised the entire migration process required of such reconfiguration - a process we completed in a short span of time without any impact to users. Going forward, we look forward to many more similar successful partnerships in which we can provide technological support for path-breaking initiatives."

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