New US judges in Abu Dhabi courts to hear specific disputes

Wam/Abu Dhabi
Filed on May 12, 2019
New US judges in Abu Dhabi courts to hear specific disputes


English language in Abu Dhabi courts was approved for the first time in the region.

Abu Dhabi has appointed two American judges, Oran Whiting and Colene Marie Otol, to work in Commercial Courts.

The pair will work in the full chamber of the Commercial Court of First Instance to hear the disputes where values in dispute exceed Dh1 million, according to Abu Dhabi Judicial Department, ADJD.

The appointment is carried out upon the article no. 30 (repeated) of the executive order of the civil procedures law no. 10 of 2017, as this article permits mixed chambers which contains foreign experts to be formed for making a decision in the full lawsuits.

Counselor Youssef Sa'ead Al Ebri, Under-Secretary of Abu Dhabi Judicial Department, said that this is an unprecedented step and carried out for enforcing the directives issued by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Judicial Department.

He added the decision is aimed at establishing the standing of the judicial system of Abu Dhabi Emirate as per the international courts where English language is spoken, and work towards providing a developed and flexible judicial environment for settling the commercial disputes faced by the foreign investors.

This helps in the development of the judicial facility in the Emirate in accordance with the plan of 'Abu Dhabi Tomorrow 2021', he added.

Al Ebri further stated that the appointment reflects the interest of the Judicial Department in seeking the help of the best competent judges and judicial experts internationally to fulfil the requirements of the international and regional establishments, which plan to practice their works in Abu Dhabi.


Judge Oran Whiting has worked as a judge in Illinois court. He also worked in the commercial arbitration and the attorney-ship. He held the position of partner lawyer in the Baker and McKenzie International Law Firm.

He taught law at Chicago University, and also held position of legal consultant in the legislative chamber of Illinois State. He was the former nominee to work in the Supreme Court of the United States on behalf of the Democratic Party.

Judge Colene Marie Otol, was appointed before an appeal court judge in Ohio State and was a former nominee for appointment in the Supreme Court of the United States on behalf of the Republican Party. She worked in attorney-ship. She also taught law at Kent State University in the US.

The Judicial Department last November approved English language in the courts for the first time in the Middle East region.

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