On the 30th of July, 2018, Monday, the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) Courts partnered with Smart Dubai to start what seems to be the world’s first blockchain court.
As per DIFC, the partnership is the first step in creating a blockchain powered future for the judiciary which will have far-reaching benefits, including streamlining the judicial process, removing document duplication and driving greater efficiencies across the entire legal ecosystem.
The initiative is to use blockchain technology to:
- explore activation of cross-border enforcement of legal judgments through the blockchain
- research to focus on building dispute resolution mechanisms
- reinforce the Dubai Blockchain Strategy 2020
With regards to the establishment of the blockchain court, Amna Al Owais, chief executive and registrar of DIFC Courts exclaimed:
“The taskforce is in line with our guiding principle to deliver courts as a service, powered by technology and extended through cooperation agreements and alliances,”
Among its goals, court’s major function is to first find ways for the verification of court judgement for cross-border enforcement.
Explaining the court’s motives for its research in the future, DIFC mentioned:
“Future research will combine expertise and resources to investigate disputes arising out of private and public blockchains, with regulation and contractual terms encoded within the smart contract. Currently, blockchain-based smart contract transactions are irrevocable and there is no technical means to unwind a transaction. The joint task force will model smart contracts across the blockchain that incorporate logic and allow for various forms of exceptions and conditions for seamless and more efficient dispute resolution.”
Dubai has been in the front lines of adopting blockchain technology in its pursuit to use modern technology. Smart Dubai was setup to empower, deliver and promote an efficient, seamless, safe and impactful city experience for residents and visitors alike. In its Dubai Blockchain Strategy, Smart Dubai aims to use blockchain in 100% of the government dealings by the year 2020. The establishment of blockchain court is Dubai’s initial step, closer to fulfilling its high aims.
Hailing the zealous goals of Smart Dubai, to digitize the city in order to bring comfort and happiness to its residents, her excellency Dr. Aisha Bint Butti Bishr, Director General of the Smart Dubai Office remarked:
“Led by the ambitious vision of our leadership, Smart Dubai has set out to transform emirate into a fully-fledged smart city where all services are digitized. The emirate has become a global trailblazer in embracing advanced technologies and steering them towards the safety, comfort and happiness of our city’s residents and visitors. One of the most notable of these innovations is blockchain, where the ‘Dubai Blockchain Strategy’ seeks to run 100% on applicable government transactions on blockchain by 2020.”
Dr. Aisha went on encouraging the collaboration of two strong institutions in the aspiration of achieving these goals. She stated:
“An invention of this calibre and potential requires an equally disruptive set of rules and an empowered institution to uphold them. This is where our partnership with DIFC Courts comes in, allowing us to work together and create the world’s first disruptive court, helping to truly unlock the power of blockchain technology,”
Last year, the DIFC Courts partnered with Dubai Future Foundation to launch the ‘Courts of the Future Forum’. These courts were meant to design guidelines and prototype a commercial court that could operate at any place across the globe. This year, the forum has moved further in its ambitions and is working to involve other global commercial courts, engage specialist technology sector and private sector participation and creating vertical working groups to research areas such as blockchain.
In the Dubai Blockchain Strategy for 2020, Dubai will focus working on three pillars – government efficiency, industry creation and international leadership. With its already many initiatives, Dubai is setting a remarkable example of using blockchain in governance.