On 4 November, 2018, Rashid Al-Bishri, Trial Lawyer at Bin Nakhira & Partners, attended the first e-Trial in the United Arab Emirates.

Click here to view the video. 

Smart e-Trials were first introduced on 18 September 2017 when His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, issued Federal Decree No. 10 of 2017 (the “e-Trial Law”).

The e-Trial Law made amendments to the Civil Procedures Law issued by Federal Law No. 11 of 1992 (the “Law”).

The e-Trial Law introduced in Title 6 in Book 3 of the Law under the name of ‘Use of Remote Communication Technology in Civil Procedures’ Articles 332 to 343 addressing the new e-Trial system.

Article 332 defines the use of Remote Communication Technology in the Civil Procedures as “the use of audiovisual communication means between two parties or more for the purpose of achieving remote appearance and exchange of documents, including the lawsuit registry, procedures of declaration, trial and execution carried out through this technology”.

Article 334, regarding ‘Appearance and Trial Procedures’, states that “All the provisions concerning the collection of fees, registry, declaration, submission of documents, appearance, publicity, pleading, hearing of witnesses, questioning, deliberation, issuance of judgments, submission of appeals and execution through the procedures thereof set forth under the present Law and its amendments shall be deemed valid if carried out totally or partially trough the Remote Communication Technology.”

The mock e-Trial hearing was conducted through a particular VoIP mobile application; one of the permitted applications per the communication networks in the UAE. As a general matter, VoIP applications are not permitted in the UAE without the VoIP provider obtaining the appropriate license.