Dubai Looking to Disrupt Legal System with “Court of the Blockchain”

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The Dubai court system tasked to oversee all civil and commercial disputes involving financial transactions both domestically and internationally is turning to blockchain technology to “create the world’s first disruptive court”.

The Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) Courts has announced its plan “to create the world’s first Court of the Blockchain” in a partnership with the government’s Smart Dubai initiative that it says will fundamentally reshape the judicial process in the future. The pivot to a “blockchain-powered future” will bring “greater efficiencies across the entire legal ecosystem,” the authority said in a statement.

The two bodies will form a joint-taskforce to specifically develop a network built on blockchain technology and smart contracts to explore verification of court judgments and sharing of documents in real-time for efficient cross-border law enforcement. Beyond the initial step, other ‘far-reaching benefits’ include removing document duplication and streamlining the broader judicial process the release added.

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DIFC Courts chief executive and registrar Amna Al Owais stated:

By harnessing blockchain technology, Dubai will be firmly positioned at the forefront of legaltech and judicial innovation, setting the standards for countries and judiciaries to follow.

Curiously, the joint-taskforce will – through combined expertise and resources including the backing of the Dubai government – explore means to “investigate handling disputes arising out of private and public blockchains, with regulation and contractual terms encoded within the smart contract,” the press release added.

The Smart Dubai Office (SDO) has notably pinned a sweeping transformative initiative dubbed the ‘Dubai Blockchain Strategy’ on decentralized technology for applications across multiple sectors including e-governance, a citywide payments system, Dubai’s entire land registry, passport-less travel for tourists and more.

Such is the emphasis on digitization through blockchain that SDO director-general Dr. Aisha Bin Bishr confirmed the government’s initiative “to run 100% of applicable government transactions on Blockchain by 2020.”

“An invention of this calibre and potential requires an equally disruptive set of rules and an empowered institution to uphold them,” she stated, adding:

“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.”

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