Foreign legal orders in the UAE

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Every now and then legal matters arise in which foreign legal orders may become pertinent to a case. This can happen, for example, in international child disputes where orders are issued by foreign countries to ensure the safe passage and return of a child travelling to visit separated or divorced parents. Here are several things you should know about the enforceability of foreign orders in the UAE, which requires consideration of Article 235 of the UAE Civil Procedure Law.

Enforcement of a foreign order can usually be done through an attestation case or a ‘mirror order’. For the UAE courts to issue such an order it is necessary:

  • The courts did not have jurisdiction to deal with the original litigation;
  • In the case of an English order, that it was produced by a competent court using the laws of 
England and Wales;
  • Both parties were given notice of the hearing and attended or were 
represented;
  • That the court had jurisdiction to make the orders that it did; and
  • The order does not conflict with orders previously made by the courts, 
and the orders do not breach public order or morals.Any failure of the above conditions can be overcome if both parties agree to cooperate with this mirror order.

There are several other options that can be invoked to avoid this time and cost, which require applications to be lodged with specific authorities. If you find yourself in a situation that may require advocacy in this regard, please contact Mr. Hassan Elhais.

Author: Hassan Elhais

Date Updated: March 14, 2016

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