The world’s first digital courtroom has been unveiled, with new system set to save both plaintiffs and respondents time and money.
Launched by the Abu Dhabi Global Market Courts (ADGM Courts), the digital courtroom will hhiandle both civil and commercial disputes between different parties.
Both plaintiffs and respondents will be able to upload all their documents through an online portal, with the information being accessible to all parties before and during the court hearing.
The courtroom will not make use of any paper as is traditionally done during court cases, and instead will use digital screens that will display all documents relevant to the court hearing.
Speaking to the issue, Ahmad Al Sayegh, Minister of State and Chairman of the ADGM Courts, said technology and innovation have been disrupting every aspect of life and the judiciary sector is no exception.
According to him, “the best innovations to come out of this sector are those that allow us to creatively manage the growing demand for transparency, information, speed and effectiveness.”
“Our mandate is to be a financial centre that supports international rules and regulations and builds a core ecosystem that allows businesses to flourish.
“We believe that the new digital courtroom will firmly position Abu Dhabi on the forefront of digital litigation, setting standards for countries around the world to follow,” he added.
Linda Fitz Alan, registrar and chief executive of ADGM Courts said another benefit of the digital courtroom was that not all parties would be required to be physically present during a hearing.
“We can do the court hearing by video conferencing, not every party has to be present in the courtroom. In fact, everybody can be on a screen if that’s the most efficient way.
“The judge overseeing the case will be the only person who has to be present inside the digital courtroom during the hearing because we are a public court. For anyone else — the lawyer, plaintiff and respondent — if there’s no particular need for it, they can all be on screen in different places,” she added.
Commenting on the time frame from when a case is registered until it goes to court, Alan said it would range from two weeks to a month.
“We have some rules that determine the steps that need to be taken before coming to court, but essentially once a case is registered it will be brought to the court within 14 days to a month after which the judge will begin managing the case,” she said.