Judicial Appointments in the DIFC Courts – a pivotal moment for Female Emirati Lawyers in the UAE
21 Feb 2021
On 8th February 2021, four new Judges of the Dubai International Financial Centre Courts (DIFC Courts) were sworn in before His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai after he issued Decree No. (6) of 2021, appointing Lord Angus James Scott Glennie and the Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Sir Peter Henry Gross as Judges of the Court of Appeal, and promoting Nassir Hashem Nasser Abdullah Al Nasser and Maha Khalid Mohammed Al Mheiri to Judges of the Court of First Instance of the DIFC Courts.
All four Judges were sworn in by a virtual ceremony in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai and H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council.
Justice Lord Angus Glennie was called to the bar of England & Wales in 1974 and appointed Queen’s Counsel in England & Wales in 1990. He was called to the Bar in Scotland in 1992, and practiced as a Barrister in Scotland and in England & Wales before being called to the bench in 2005 and then appointed to the Court of Session and granted the judicial title of Lord Glennie. In 2016, Lord Glennie he was then appointed to the Inner House of the Courts of Session, which is the equivalent to the Court of Appeal in the courts of England & Wales.
The Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Sir Peter Gross (Sir Peter Gross) was appointed to the Court of Appeal of England & Wales in 2010 and Deputy Senior Presiding Judge of England & Wales in 2011, before becoming Senior Presiding Judge between 2013–2015. When he eventually retired from the Court of Appeal, Sir Peter Gross was appointed President of the Slynn Foundation in 2019, dedicated to advancing the Rule of Law internationally and in December 2020 Sir Peter was appointed to chair the Independent Human Rights Act Review.
H.E. Justice Nassir Al Nasser was appointed as a DIFC Courts Judicial Officer in November 2012 and then in 2017 he was appointed as a Small Claims Tribunal (SCT) Judge and Registrar. H.E. Justice Nassir Al Nasser is also the first Emirati Judge to join the DIFC Courts whose primary legal training has been in English common law.
H.E. Justice Maha Al Mheiri became the first female Emirati judge appointed to the Courts of First Instance at the DIFC Courts, and also becomes the first female Emirati common law judge appointed in the U.A.E. H.E. Justice Maha Al Mheiri originally joined the DIFC Courts in 2012 as a Case Progression Officer and was appointed a Judicial officer in 2013, before becoming a Small Claims Tribunal Judge in 2017.
In a press release, Zaki Azmi, Chief Justice of the DIFC Courts, said: "The DIFC Courts serves the international business community by maintaining a world-class bench. As well as reinforcing our current panel of judges with additional prominent international expertise, the DIFC Courts has further achieved a new milestone by appointing the next generation of Emirati judges with trans-systemic expertise across civil and common law. We are also very proud to be the first court in the world to appoint a female Emirati judge to a common law court. These appointments will complement our already impressive independent, learned, and experienced bench that has earned trust and confidence, both locally and globally.”
For any further information or any queries in relation to the DIFC Courts, contact Nichola Reece-Burton.
The above is a general commentary on the various matters and should not be construed as specific legal advice.