The Academy of Law for the DIFC has invested in the future of the UAE legal profession by awarding scholarships worth US$135,000 to some of the country’s most promising law students and respected academics.
A group of 49 Emiratis and expatriates studying and working at five of the UAE’s leading law schools and university legal departments have begun the intensive 18-week Academy of Law Certificate in DIFC Courts Laws and Procedures. Organised as a practical and theoretical programme targeting legal practitioners and academicians, the Certificate comprises an 11-week course in DIFC Court Procedures and a 7-week course in DIFC Laws, and is the first to be accredited under the new Continuing Legal Professional Development (CLPD) scheme developed by the Government of Dubai Legal Affairs Department. The venue for the programme is the formal, state-of-the-art courtroom for the DIFC Courts, thus creating a theme-based professional environment to facilitate learning and development.
Training the next generation of legal professionals and equipping them with the multi-dimensional skills required to be effective in an increasingly global legal environment is a key facet of the Academy’s work. Legal professionals in the UAE have the opportunity to simultaneously practice across both common and civil law systems, and an increasing number are choosing this career path. Through these scholarships, we are delighted that so many future practitioners can gain an in-depth understanding of common law concepts and the practices of the DIFC Courts to supplement their predominately civil law studies.
The participating educational establishments are the University of Sharjah, UAE University, St Joseph University Dubai, Middlesex University School of Law, and American University of Sharjah.
Commenting on the benefit of the Certificate to students, Thomas McDonagh, Lecturer in Law at Middlesex University Dubai, said: “From the perspective of an academic and of a person involved in teaching potential future practitioners before the DIFC Courts these training sessions provide a wonderful opportunity to witness the interface of legal theory with the workings of the DIFC Courts. It can only lead to more productive relations between students and staff of Middlesex University Dubai and the wonderful team at DIFC Courts and the Academy of Law.”
Hamda’s sentiments were echoed by Ruby Oayda, a second year student at Middlesex University Dubai, who added: “As an LLB student studying English law in Dubai the DIFC Certificate has provided me with the opportunity to acquire an understanding of the procedural process within a common law court, ultimately enabling me to combine my theoretical common law knowledge and limited practical experience in order to gain an in depth understanding of its local application in Dubai.”
The Academy of Law is part of the Dispute Resolution Authority, which also comprises the DIFC Courts, DIFC Wills and Probate Registry and an arbitration institute. Its core functions include training and regulating lawyers, publishing Court law reports and academic literature, providing free legal advice for people in need through the region’s first Pro Bono Programme, and hosting events for the development of the rule of law, the legal system and the professional community.