Dubai seeks to establish first blockchain court

30 July 2018
Joint task force formed between Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts and Smart Dubai

Dubai is seeking to establish the world’s first blockchain court by forming a joint task force between the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts and Smart Dubai, the government entity overseeing Dubai’s smart Transformation programme.

The alliance will build on the existing dispute resolution services, initially exploring how to aid verification of court judgments for cross-border enforcement, the DIFC said in a statement.

The partnership is seen as the initial step in creating a “blockchain-powered future” for the judiciary, which will have far-reaching benefits, including streamlining the judicial process, removing document duplications, and driving greater efficiencies across the entire legal ecosystem.

According to the DIFC, future research will combine expertise and resources to investigate handling disputes arising out of private and public blockchains, with regulation and contractual terms encoded within the smart contract.

It is understood that blockchain-based smart contract transactions are currently irrevocable, providing no technical means to unwind a transaction. To address this constraint, the joint taskforce expects to model smart contracts across the blockchain that incorporate logic and allow for various forms of exceptions and conditions.

The UAE’s DIFC Courts administer an English-language common law system to settle local and international commercial or civil disputes.  They are independent from, but complementary to, the UAE’s Arabic-language civil law system.


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