Dubai Establishes Authority to Resolve Conflicts Between DIFC Courts, Judicial Bodies

In his role as the Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, issued Decree No. (29) of 2024 concerning the ‘Judicial Authority for Resolving Jurisdictional Conflicts between DIFC Courts and Judicial Authorities in the Emirate of Dubai’.

The Decree applies to all judicial bodies in Dubai, including the Court of Cassation, the Court of Appeal, the Court of First Instance and any future courts established under Dubai's Judicial Authority. It also extends to the DIFC Courts.

Under this Decree, the name of the Judicial Tribunal for Dubai Courts and DIFC Courts will change to the ‘Judicial Authority for Resolving Jurisdictional Conflicts between DIFC Courts and Judicial Authorities in Dubai’, as required by Dubai's legislation.

The Authority will be chaired by the President of the Court of Cassation at Dubai Courts, with the Deputy Chief Justice of DIFC Courts serving as Deputy Chairman. Other members include the Secretary General of the Dubai Judicial Council, the Presidents of the Court of Appeal and the Court of First Instance at Dubai Courts and two judges from DIFC Courts appointed by the Chief Justice.

The Chairman of the Authority has the authority to appoint a Secretary-General from Dubai's judicial bodies. The Authority's responsibilities include determining the appropriate court for disputes, specifying enforceable judgments in conflicts and carrying out tasks assigned by the Ruler of Dubai or the Chairman of the Dubai Judicial Council. Decisions made by the Authority are final and not subject to appeal.

Moreover, the legal principles set by the Judicial Authority in its decisions under this Decree are binding on all courts, including DIFC Courts. Conflicting rulings can be appealed through established legal channels.

The Chairman of the Dubai Judicial Council will issue the necessary decisions to implement this Decree, replacing Decree No. (19) of 2016 concerning the Judicial Tribunal for the Dubai Courts and DIFC Courts.

The Decree supersedes any contradictory legislation and will be published in the Official Gazette, coming into effect the day after its publication.

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Legal Doyen Fali S Nariman Passes Away

Eminent Indian constitutional jurist Fali Sam Nariman, whose profound wisdom left an indelible mark on the international legal scene, passed away in Delhi on Wednesday at the age of 95.

Sources close to the family said that he peacefully passed away around 1:15 am, having not been unwell, and he died in his sleep.

Nariman is survived by his son, former Supreme Court judge Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman, daughter-in-law Sanaya, and daughter Anaheeta. His wife, Bapsi Nariman, passed away in 2020.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta mourned Nariman's passing and fondly recalled the professional and personal rapport he shared with the senior jurist. Mehta remarked: “The country has lost the epitome of what righteousness stood for. A doyen, paragon and a legend in his lifetime, he has left us the jurisprudence enriched by his immense contribution. I have always learned something new by merely appearing even against him."

Reflecting on their interactions, Mehta shared a cherished memory of sharing homemade buttermilk in the Supreme Court corridors while Nariman regaled them with past anecdotes in Gujarati. Despite Nariman's infrequent appearances in recent years, Mehta valued Nariman's gesture of sending him all the books he authored with his autograph, considering it a proud possession for himself and future generations.

"The legal fraternity is intellectually poorer today. Such intellectual giants do not die. They remain immortal through their contribution. There cannot be and will not be another Fali Nariman,” concluded Mehta.

"Fali S. Nariman's legacy shines bright as a guiding spirit within our legal landscape. His loss is deeply felt, not just by the legal fraternity but by our entire nation. India and the International legal community have lost a towering figure of intellect and wisdom. May his soul rest in peace," said Sunil Ambalavelil, Chairman of Dubai-based NYK Law Firm.

 Imprint on Constitutional Law

Born in Rangoon (now Yangon) on January 10, 1929, to Sam Bariyamji Nariman and Banoo Nariman, Nariman initially studied in Shimla before his family relocated to Bombay (now Mumbai). He graduated in law from the Government Law College, Bombay, in 1950, and commenced his law practice at the Bombay High Court, coinciding with the Constitution's enactment in Independent India. In 1971, he achieved the status of Senior Advocate in the Supreme Court.

After practicing for 22 years in the Bombay High Court, Nariman transitioned to Delhi, where he continued his legal career. Despite being appointed as the Additional Solicitor General of India by the Congress government in 1972, he resigned from the post two days after the imposition of Emergency.

 Pivotal Figure

Subsequently, Nariman became a pivotal figure in numerous landmark cases that shaped Indian constitutional law. His notable contributions include his advocacy for the Collegium system of appointing judges, evident in landmark cases such as the 1993 Second Judges case, the Third Judges case in 1998, and the 2015 challenge to the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC).

A staunch advocate for judicial independence, Nariman vehemently opposed the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act, asserting that it would compromise the judiciary's independence. He championed the right to dissent as non-negotiable and essential for a functioning democracy.

In 2012, Nariman published his autobiography, "Before Memory Fades." He received national recognition with the Padma Bhushan in 1991 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2007. Additionally, he served as a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha from 1999 to 2005.

Leaders Mourn

The passing of esteemed Fali Sam Nariman has sent shockwaves through the nation, with social media flooded with tributes and condolences. Lauded as a "Bhishma Pitamah of Lawyer community," Nariman's legacy is being celebrated by lawyers, politicians, and citizens alike.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi remembered Nariman as an “outstanding legal mind and intellectual."

“Shri Fali Nariman Ji was among the most outstanding legal minds and intellectuals. He devoted his life to making justice accessible to common citizens. I am pained by his passing away. My thoughts are with his family and admirers. May his soul rest in peace," PM Modi said in a post on X.

Former Congress party chief Rahul Gandhi said  Fali Sam Nariman’s contributions have not only shaped landmark cases, but also inspired generations of jurists to uphold the sanctity of the Constitution and civil liberties.
"May his commitment to justice and fairness continue to guide us, even in his absence," Gandhi said.

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Abortion Permitted in UAE When Pregnancy Endangers Life or Fetal Deformity Confirmed

The United Arab Emirates has recently amended its laws regarding abortion, introducing changes aimed at streamlining the consent process and prioritising the health and well-being of pregnant women.

In the UAE, medical professionals are permitted to perform abortions under two circumstances:

1.When the pregnancy jeopardises the life of the pregnant woman.

2. When fetal deformity is confirmed.

However, in both cases, specific conditions must be met, as stipulated by the law.
The amendments to the UAE's abortion law focus on two primary areas: consent requirements and maternal health protection.

Previously, obtaining consent for an abortion in the UAE often involved complex procedures, with strict requirements for medical, legal, and religious approvals.

The revised law seeks to simplify this process while ensuring that pregnant women have access to safe and medically necessary abortions when required. Under the amended law, the consent of a pregnant woman is paramount, with medical practitioners required to obtain informed consent directly from the patient before proceeding with an abortion. This shift emphasises the autonomy and agency of pregnant women in making decisions about their reproductive health.

Furthermore, the amended law introduces safeguards to protect the life and health of pregnant women. In cases where an abortion is deemed medically necessary to preserve the woman's life or prevent serious harm to her health, the procedure may be performed without the need for extensive consent requirements or legal approvals.

Commenting on the changes to the UAE's abortion law, Gayatri Jayesh, Legal Associate at Dubai-based NYK Law Firm, highlighted the significance of prioritising maternal health and autonomy. "The amendments represent a positive step forward in aligning UAE laws with international standards on reproductive rights. By placing greater emphasis on the consent of pregnant women and ensuring timely access to safe abortion services, the UAE is promoting the health and well-being of its female population," she said.

She further emphasised the importance of balancing the rights of pregnant women with societal and cultural considerations, stating that "while the amendments mark progress in safeguarding women's reproductive rights, it is essential to continue promoting education and awareness around reproductive health and contraception to prevent the need for abortions wherever possible. Additionally, ongoing efforts are needed to address stigma and discrimination surrounding abortion in UAE society".

The changes to the UAE's abortion law reflect a broader shift towards recognising and protecting women's reproductive rights and health. By simplifying consent procedures and prioritising maternal health considerations, the amendments aim to ensure that pregnant women have access to safe and medically necessary abortion services when needed, while also upholding cultural and societal values.

Moving forward, continued advocacy, education, and awareness efforts will be crucial in promoting reproductive rights and advancing gender equality in the UAE.


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