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Singapore Courts Welcome Abu Dhabi Judicial Delegation

Officials study international best practices ahead of commercial court modernization and new Judicial Department headquarters construction

Singapore – Officials from the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department participated recently in a three-day study tour to Singapore’s Subordinate and Supreme Courts to guide them in their continuing efforts to modernize the Emirate’s court system and facilities. The study tour’s purpose was to closely examine and learn from Singapore’s court system, which is internationally renowned for efficiency, customer service, utilization of IT, and judicial facilities. The trip informed efforts to upgrade the Abu Dhabi commercial court framework and refine the design and construction of the new Abu Dhabi Judicial Department building. "Singapore managed to cultivate a world-class legal environment that is business-friendly and conducive to economic growth. The courts offer a variety of alternative dispute resolution services, use advanced IT systems to increase efficiency and transparency, and make important information about the courts easily accessible to the public. We are striving to integrate these elements into the Judicial Department as we continue our modernization efforts. Singapore’s courts have proven themselves a global leader in these areas, and we are thankful for the opportunity to learn from their successes," said His Excellency, Sultan Al Badi, Undersecretary of the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department. On the first day of the study trip, Singaporean judicial and court administration officials briefed the delegation on their experience in implementing judicial modernization efforts, and focused particularly on achieving organizational and business excellence. They discussed a number of initiatives at the Singapore Courts, including human resource development and training, and the "Singapore Quality Award" framework—a framework created to help organizations achieve the highest management and service standards. The delegation also saw first-hand Singapore’s advanced case management and other technology systems for possible applications in Abu Dhabi and the design of the new headquarters building. Noted throughout the world for their innovative use of technology, the Singapore courts have advanced electronic filing systems, on-line dispute resolution capabilities, and sophisticated case management systems. During the study tour, the delegation has also discussed best practices, successes, and strategies across multi-disciplinary areas including court modernization, access to justice, adjudicating commercial cases, training of judges and administrators, and alternative dispute resolution. The Judicial Department chose to conduct a study tour to Singapore because of its reputation for excellence as well as for the city state’s economical similarities to Abu Dhabi. The Singaporean economy is multi-faceted and rapidly growing, hosts a diverse population base, and permits the government to commit the resources necessary to establishing a model court system. Moreover, the Singaporean judicial system has important regional similarities with Abu Dhabi. Information gleaned from the study tour is informing the Department’s ongoing commercial court modernization effort, whose objective is to establish a world-class commercial court with specialized mediation and adjudication capabilities to efficiently and effectively resolve commercial disputes. Additionally, architects, engineers, and project management professionals contracted to build the new Abu Dhabi Judicial Department headquarters have participated in the trip to learn from Singapore’s state-of-the-art judicial facilities and technological innovations. The study tour is part of a broader effort by the Government of Abu Dhabi to build a streamlined, efficient and technologically-advanced legal system in the emirate. The initiatives at the Judicial Department are in accordance with the government-wide restructuring effort to improve government services throughout the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, with the goal of increasing efficiency and accountability to broaden the base of the emirate‘s economic growth and respond to the needs of its growing population.

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