Alpha Data builds small claims court on Skype for Business
DIFC Courts has collaborated with systems integrator Alpha Data to launch the GCC’s first smart Small Claims Tribunal. The smart court is a turnkey project built on Microsoft infrastructure and works by providing both parties in dispute, as well as the judge, access to the case from remote locations on smartphones and computers. The newly introduced smart court is equipped with video conferencing technology that enables individuals or small and medium-sized enterprises to participate in hearings from anywhere in the world.
Microsoft Skype for Business, Polycom and Ashton Bentley, are the principal vendors in the remote office application solution.
According to the current court procedures, the parties in dispute along with a judge have to be present at Small Claims Tribunal during hearings. Via the new technology, however, all parties concerned, such as business owners who travel extensively, tenants who have departed from the UAE and employees both in and out of Dubai with contract issues, can resolve their disputes by remotely attending their consultations and hearings.
Amna Sultan Al Owais, Chief Operating Officer at DIFC Courts said, “The smart court initiative is a major step towards DIFC Courts’ vision of becoming the world’s leading and most innovative commercial court by 2021, in addition to supporting Dubai’s bid to transform into a smart city. This development will also greatly increase confidence in Dubai as a progressive and world-class centre for business.”
“Successfully overcoming the limitations of geographical boundaries, the GCC’s first smart court has effectively strengthened DIFC Courts’ position as the region’s most innovative commercial court. Alpha Data has a key role to play in this significant development. Our collaboration involved the reconfiguration of the court room on a completely scalable technology platform in line with the Dispute Resolution Authority’s roadmap and their compliance requirements.”
“We supervised the entire migration process required of such reconfiguration, a process we completed in a short span of time without any impact to users. Going forward, we look forward to many more similar successful partnerships in which we can provide technological support for path-breaking initiatives,” said Murugesan Vaithilingam, Services Director at Alpha Data.
DIFC Courts created the GCC’s first Small Claims Tribunal in 2007, which has grown popular among the UAE’s SME sector. While it handles cases with a limit of up to AED 500,000, there is no ceiling on employment cases, provided parties agree to opt in. In the first half of 2016, the total value of claims increased from AED 7 million to AED 9 million YoY, indicating that claimants are responding to the new higher threshold for case values.