Substantive Claims For The Civil Procedures in the UAE

Posted by Awatif Mohammad Shoqi Advocates & Legal Consultancy on February 7th, 2023

Although largely based on the civil law system, the legal system in the UAE is branched out into civil laws and the Sharia. In fact, a number of laws are structured around the principles of Sharia as well as influences from the Egyptian and French civil laws. The country has also introduced common law in specified areas, which has allowed a unique framework of international standards to cater to the needs of the region.

Laws of the UAE, just like any other country, can be divided into two categories – substantive and procedural. Substantive law deals with the rights, obligations, duties, and causes of action that can be enforced under the law, i.e. it defines a legal relationship, whereas procedural law sets out the procedure for administering the substantive law. Claims instituted in a court of law, whether civil or criminal, arise out of substantive laws, and are adjudicated keeping in view the rules of the procedural laws.

Civil procedure: Federal Decree-Law No. 42 of 2022, which is the Civil Procedures Law, governs the jurisdiction and procedure for civil and commercial cases. The law offers two litigation procedures that can be taken up by a party before the local courts: substantive claims and summary procedures.

Substantive claims: A substantive claim is a conventional civil suit instituted by a claimant, through an application in a court competent to deal with the matter, wherein the facts of the dispute along with the remedies sought, are stated. The suit is against another party, called the defendant, and once it is instituted, the defendant will be required to issue a reply to the suit, defending his position.

A substantive suit will be filed according to Article 16 of Cabinet Decision No. 57 of 2018, which lays down that a claimant has to file his claim with the Case Management Office, either by electronic means or in writing, and must contain the details mentioned in the Article itself.

A substantive suit will be detailed and more merit oriented. As a result, it will probably require a considerable amount of time for adjudication. Since the claim is regarding the enforcement of a right or performance of a duty, the court will look for proofs that will establish either party’s statements.

Once a judgment is delivered by the court, the period for appeal lasts for 30 days from the date of issue of judgement.

Summary suit: In contrast to substantive claims, summary suits are expedited and straightforward. They act as an instant relief, because if the defendant fails to reply to the court or submit his defense, the claimant will be entitled to judgement. Also referred to as “payment orders”, it is preferred where liabilities are fixed, i.e. liquidated damages. Whereas in a substantive suit, the court will determine the liabilities on part of the defaulting party, and order the amount to be paid.

It is pertinent to note that in order to get the most favorable outcome, the claim should be filed under the relevant procedure.


Like it? Share it!

Awatif Mohammad Shoqi Advocates & Legal Consultancy

About the Author

Awatif Mohammad Shoqi Advocates & Legal Consultancy
Joined: February 3rd, 2021
Articles Posted: 131

More by this author