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The court system in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi consists of courts of first instance, courts of appeal, and the Court of Cassation. Based on the recommendation of the Judicial Council, specialised courts may be established to consider specific disputes and define their competences. One court may include first instance, appeals, and enforcement circuits.
The first instance courts have a general jurisdiction to consider all types of lawsuits in the capital Abu Dhabi, with the exception of those that are expressly excluded by a text, and they are composed of major chambers of three judges and minor ones of a single judge. They are considered one of the largest courts in the country by looking at the number of chambers and the size of cases that they try. These courts are where disputes first arise.
In line with the basic principles of modern judicial systems, the Judicial Department adopts the principle of litigation on two levels to ensure justice by providing the opportunity for litigants to appeal the judgment of the Court of First Instance in all types of cases except for the final cases, which are stipulated by law. Court of Appeal consists of several circuits of three judges to adjudicate appeals on judgments issued in the courts of first instance. Its specialties are split between the civil, commercial, labour, administrative, private, and judicial chambers.
The Court of Cassation is the highest judicial body in the Emirate. It is competent to consider appeals against judgments issued by the Courts of Appeal, and other cases that the law allows for appeals in cassation and in conflicts of jurisdiction between the Emirate's courts. It is also competent to question members of the Executive Council and senior officials of the Emirate appointed by Amiri decrees. Based on the proposal of the Chairman of the Executive Council and the approval of the ruler, In the course of carrying out their official duties.
In the interest of supporting the trend towards specialised judiciary to raise the level of performance and achieve speedy settlement of cases, a number of judicial chambers have been established and assigned to hear disputes involving contracting and construction, banks and financial institutions; stocks and financial bonds; insurance and commercial compensation; intellectual property; children’s visitation; and partial medical errors. The domestic labour chamber, as well as simple lawsuits and lawsuits involving government employees, were recently established. The department also reached a deal with the International Council of Sports Arbitration to establish the Court of Arbitration for Sport's first office outside of Lausanne, Switzerland, in Abu Dhabi.
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