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LAST WEEK, the Rental Disputes Center (RDC) in Dubai announced its plan to launch a swift self-litigation system in 2019. It is an artificial intelligence system which solves disputes without a judge. This will be made possible by making some minor adjustments in laws.
The self-litigation system begins once one of the parties enters the technical system, specifies the type of claim (tenant or leaser), attaches the required documents, and then the judgment will be issued and sent directly by e-mail or text message to all parties concerned.
One of the Emirati arbitration officials stated that such litigation is usually completed within a certain period which could reach 45 days, while the new system will complete the entire process within eight days only.
I was delighted by the news since I am a lawyer by profession. I also envied the people of Dubai for such facility which will make litigation process simple and quick. I hope our executive officials and judges will be inspired by this spirit of modernity and creativity.
The litigation process in our country is taxing. This starts from the moment of serving the respondent and reserving several times, attending and postponement of court sessions in order to go through the documents related to the case, response and defense from both parties, issuance of verdicts in different court levels, followed by the long and complex enforcement process and all these could go on for more than a year.
Here, I am talking about minor rental disputes which will be solved within eight days in Dubai. This raises the question: How long it will take for other complex cases?
It is unfortunate that our litigation process is suffering from the same illness as our official transactions in various domains of our government – from routine, bureaucracy and multiplicity in terms of jurisdiction. By multiplicity, I mean the number of courts.
When I worked as a public prosecutor in the early 1970s, we were only seven prosecutors who took legal oath before the minister in charge.
Last week, 95 youths took the same legal oath as junior prosecutors before the concerned officials. It is amazing to imagine how the number has grown to 95 and on annual basis.
The number of courts has also increased. During our days, we operated under the same roof where all types of courts were located in the same courts’ complex in Kuwait City opposite the scientific museum (Abdullah Al-Mubarak Street).
Nowadays, the same courts are scattered everywhere and are far from each other. Perhaps, this could be seen as an indication of natural life development, population and construction growth. But the response to that is despite such development, there is a need for us to intensify our efforts as authorities and activists in this aspect.
These efforts should be aimed at alleviating the pain, suffering and long waiting period that the people of this country encounter in dealing with our judicial authority which we honor and revere; as well as by our leader His Highness the Amir who applauses, praises and trusts this authority.
By Ali Ahmed Al-Baghli
Former Minister of Oil