In his capacity as Ruler of Dubai, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum issued Law No. (13) of 2020 regulating the expert witness profession in Dubai.
The new Law, which oversees all activities related to expert witness services in Dubai, seeks to provide judicial departments with legally and technically qualified experts who can help ensure the accuracy of judicial decisions, facilitate the swift dispensation of justice, expedite judicial procedures and raise the quality and competencies of expert witnesses.
The Law defines the expert witness service as an activity practiced by a person with specialised skills assigned by the court or the public prosecution to provide verbal or written opinion on a certain case.
Expert witnesses and consulting firms must be duly registered in the experts register at Dubai Courts. The Law authorises Dubai Courts to create and manage the experts register.
According to a resolution issued by the Chairman of the Dubai Judicial Council, Dubai Courts will establish the Experts Affairs Committee, which will propose the rules and regulations for the classification of experts and approve the charter of ethics and professional conduct for experts and guidelines for experts’ fees. The Committee will include members of the Dubai Judicial Authority, experts registered at Dubai Courts and other government entities, and officials from the private sector. The Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Committee should be members of the Dubai Judicial Authority.
The Committee is also responsible for approving the professional qualification examinations and training programmes for experts, and reviewing applications from experts, requests for cancelling or suspending registration of experts, grievances submitted by experts regarding the results of their technical assessment and violations and complaints related to experts.
According to the new Law, Dubai Courts will establish a unit for experts affairs, which will be in charge of registration and classification of experts. The unit will also be responsible for preparing the charter of ethics and professional conduct, overseeing and monitoring the experts’ work, technically evaluating experts, reviewing grievances and complaints lodged against experts and submitting recommendations in this regard to the Experts Affairs Committee.
Any person or entity not registered in the experts register at Dubai Courts is prohibited from undertaking any activity related to the provision of expert witness services unless permitted by this Law. The judicial authority may assign any expert to perform specific tasks related to a case or incident.
Apart from the provisions of this Law, the expert witness is subject to relevant federal and local legislations, including Federal Law No. (7) of 2012 concerning the regulation of the Expertise Profession before Judicial Authorities and its bylaws.
The Dubai Courts Director General is authorised to issue all decisions required to implement this Law. All individuals currently registered in the experts register at Dubai Courts must comply with this Law on renewal of their registration or within a year of the Law coming into effect.
This Law annuls any other legislation that contradicts or challenges its articles. The new Law will be published in the Official Gazette and is effective from the date of its publication.