Abu Dhabi rolls out legal reforms for non-Arabic speakers

Ismail Sebugwaawo /Abu Dhabi
ismail@khaleejtimes.com Filed on May 16, 2021

Litigants allowed to file online forms to appeal against verdicts of the Court of First Instance.

Abu Dhabi residents can now appeal against rulings by the Court of First Instance by filing online forms in English or Arabic, without seeking help from lawyers, an official said.

The Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD) has launched a set of user-friendly Court of Appeal smart e-forms to provide easier access to justice for litigants, who wish to appeal against the court’s verdicts.

The e-forms help cut down on paper use and also reduce language barriers because they are bilingual (Arabic and English).

The authorities said they recognised the need for judicial reforms, especially for non-Arabic speakers and these e-forms cover all types of disputes before the Abu Dhabi Court of Appeal, including commercial, family, employment, administrative and civil cases.

A key feature of the e-forms is the final section, which contains a list of legal articles that are relevant to an appellant’s application process.

The authorities have rolled out the initiative while taking into account that not all litigants have the financial means to pay lawyers’ fees.

Earlier in May, the ADJD had announced that it has extended the scope of use of interactive bilingual claim forms to cases before the appeals court, allowing expatriate litigants to easily familiarise themselves with court procedures without any language barrier.

Yousef Saeed Al Abri, Undersecretary of the ADJD, said that the authorities had started to provide a bilingual litigation process since 2018 by removing the language barrier for non-Arabic speakers and by simplifying procedures to offer transparent litigation. The bilingual appeal forms are a key step towards path-breaking legal reforms.

He added the courts provide unique judicial services that meet the requirements of the UAE, which is known for its cultural diversity, and these momentous changes contribute to reinforcing the competitive spirit and transparent image of the country’s largest emirate.



Ismail Sebugwaawo

A professional journalist originating from Kampala, Uganda, Ismail is a happy father with strong attachment to family and great values for humanity. He has practiced journalism in UAE for the past 13 years, covering the country's parliament (FNC) and crimes, including Abu Dhabi Police, public prosecution and courts. He also reports about important issues in education, public health and the environment, with a keen interest in human interest stories. When out of reporting duties, he serves the Ugandan community in Abu Dhabi as he wants to see his countrymen happy. Exercising and reading are part of his free time.

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