The Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC) was first created in 1994. It is a part of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. It is a regional arbitration Centre. On 23 April 2019, there were few changes made in DIAC. The Ruler of Dubai issued decree 17 of 2019 for approving new changes in the DIAC. The new DIAC changed the previous DIAC statute on 2 May 2019.
The New DIAC Statute made some changes and highlights some the provision like DIAC Structure, Recording Process and Function and Authority of relevant bodies.
The DIAC consist of Board of Trustee’s, Executive Committee and The Administrative Body but after New DIAC there are few changes in the structure Board of directors will select the member of Board of Trustees. The new DIAC Structure is as follows: –
- Board of Director: In the previous DIAC act the BOD has to simply record the facts which DIAC forms. But now the BOD role is absolutely necessary for the structure
- The Only member which are proposed by the BOD to The Ruler for the BOT the Ruler will appoint BOT from them.
- All the Manager of DIAC will be selected by the BOD Resolution.
- After the New DIAC Statute, only the BOD has the authority to submit the Amendments for assent to the adequate authority of The Emirates of Dubai.
- Board of Trustees: this is the body which is governing all the Responsibility and Management of the DIAC. BOT compromises of The Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and 15 members with arbitration experience. They are appointed for three years.
- Executive Committee: The EC get assisted by the BOT and do various work given to them regarding DIAC rule. The committee consists of 5 members including the chairperson, vice-chairperson appointed by the BOT.
- Manager: This committee manages the controlling and administrating the administrative body. The BOT will suggest the name to BOD to select the manager.
- Administrative Body: This body is taking care of all the services provided by the DIAC and the proceedings are going smooth with the process of DIAC.
Procedure of DIAC
- General Provision: Tribunal should act fairly and unbiased and will make sure that each party gets an equal opportunity to present the case.
- Transmission of the File to the Tribunal: The centre may transfer the copy of the file to the tribunal after the tribunal has been constituted after they paid the cost requested by the centre.
- Modification of Time Limits: If both the parties agree to shorten the time limit in the arbitration agreement. These agreements mentioned in the agreement will come into the constitution after the tribunal gets approval.
The tribunal has the power to extend the time limit which is mentioned in the arbitration agreement. As the tribunal can give reasonable time and opportunities to both the parties to state their views.
The executive committee can also extend the time limit if they think it is necessary to do or to fulfil their responsibilities.
- Place of Arbitration: The parties can select the seat of arbitration in writing. If the parties have not mentioned the seat then the seat of arbitration will be Dubai, unless the EC allows giving in writing that some other place is better for the seat of tribunal.
At the place where both the parties agree the tribunal will start the hearing or meeting if the place is appropriate. The tribunal did what they think is appropriate for both the parties.
- Language: the language which is agreed by the parties, the language will be used for arbitration and also for the arbitration agreement.
If the Arbitration agreement is written in more than one language then the EC says the arbitration proceedings will be conducted in more than one language and they have to decide one language will be the initial language of the arbitration.
The tribunal can order that the document which is submitted in a language which is not the language of arbitration should be in translated in the language of Arbitration.
- Preliminary Meeting: within 30 days just after the tribunal gets the file after Article 18, the tribunal will notify the date of preliminary meeting and place where the meeting will be held. The tribunal will make a timetable and let the parties know when they have to submit the submission of documents, statement and pleadings.
- Statement of Claim: Within 30 days after the claimant gets a notification from the centre of the establishment of the tribunal he has to submit and send the Statement of Claim to the Respondent and the tribunal with the copy to the centre.
The statement of claim must have a statement of facts, legal arguments which will support the claim and mention the relief he wants.
The Claimant should attach the documentary evidence on which he is relying together with the schedule of such documents.
- Statement of Defence: Within 30 days after the respondent gets receipt of Statement of Claim from receipt from the centre of the establishment of the tribunal he has to submit and send the Statement of Defence to the claimant and the tribunal with the copy to the centre.
The Respondent should attach the documentary evidence on which he is relying together with the schedule of such documents.
The counter-claim given by the Respondent shall be taken as the Statement of Defence. This counter-claim should contain the same points and documentary evidence as mentioned in Article 23 (2) and (3).
- Further Written Statement: If the tribunal requires a further written statement in addition to the SOC and SOD may fix the time for submission of statements.
If the counter-claim has been maid then the claimant has to reply particulars. The time limit is what which is mentioned in Article 24(1).
The time which is fixed by the tribunal for the written statements should not be more than 45 days including the days of SOC and SOD.
- New Claim and Amendments to the Statement of Claim or Defence: After submitting the SOC, SOD and Counter-Claim both the party cannot make New Claim or Counter-Claim, else it is authorized by the Tribunal can make new claim and counter-claim.
- Burden of Proof and Evidence: Every party has the burden to prove the facts which support its Claim or Defence.
Anytime during the time of arbitration, the tribunal can ask for any evidence or party can ask to produce some evidence and ask the tribunal to give some time. The tribunal or expert can ask the other party to show the property or evidence which is in his possession.
- Hearing: if any party request the tribunal to hold the hearing for the witnesses including expert witnesses. The tribunal has to decide whether he hat to hold the hearing or not he may start the hearing. If any party failed to appear in the hearing without proper excuse still the tribunal has the power to continue the hearing with one party. The tribunal should give the advance notice of the hearing on which date, time, place.
- Witnesses: if a party has to bring a witness in the hearing he has to inform about the witness to the tribunal and the other party at least 15 days before the hearing. The address name of the witness and why he intends to call him what is the testimonies and how it is related to the issue. The witness who gives oral evidence can be questioned by both the parties in control of tribunal and tribunal can also ask some questions in the hearing. The party has to pay all the charges of witness and responsible and availability of witnesses.
- Default: If the claimant is not able to show his good cause and fails to submit his SOC according to Article 23 then the tribunal can refuse to proceed with the claim. And if the respondent is not able to show his good cause and fails to submit his SOD according to Article 24 then the tribunal may refuse or proceed with the arbitration and make the Award.
- Closing of Proceedings: The tribunal shall declare the proceedings closed when both the parties are satisfied that the had enough opportunity for submission and showing evidence. The tribunal seems it is necessary or the party gives application to re-open the proceedings it is declared to be closed any time before the award is made. after the closing of proceedings, the tribunal will give the final award.
The tribunal will make preliminary, interim, interlocutory, partial or final awards. All awards should be in writing and will be final and binding on both the parties. After agreeing to arbitrator carry out the award immediately without delay. The award will have the date on which the award has given and the seat of arbitration. The award can be made public after the consent of the parties. The award will be signed by the tribunal and the signature of the majority of the arbitrator on the award.
- The registration fee for both of them is 5000 AED which is non-refundable
The DIAC is a very lengthy process but it is fast as in this the maximum proceeding ends in 1 year the decisions is bound on both the parties. It gives both the parties equal time and opportunity to prove themselves. It has so many levels which are regulating each other to make this process fast and easy. The parties can choose there arbitrator and seats for their convenience.
Article 23 – Statement of Claim (SOC)
Article 24 – Statement of Defence (SOD)
EC – Executive Committee
BOD – Board of Director
BOT – Board of Trustees