English Common Law


ADGM Courts support ADGM with a fully independent common law framework to adjudicate civil and commercial disputes.

Linda Fitz-Alan

Foundation of ADGM Courts

ADGM Courts' regulations and supporting rules enshrine ADGM's legal framework of the direct application of English common law. At their heart is the following:

  • the impartiality, independence and integrity of the Judges
  • the necessity to have enforceable judgments and orders in ADGM, throughout the UAE and globally
  • to instill confidence in the local and international, commercial and legal markets
  • to ensure transparency and certainty with all procedures
  • to achieve access to justice
  • to complement arbitration
The direct application of English Common Law makes ADGM the first jurisdiction in the Middle East to adopt a similar approach to that of Singapore and Hong Kong.

ADGM's Board of Directors decided that ADGM Courts and its judiciary would be broadly modelled on the English judicial system as this approach would result in a coherent, recognised and accepted legal framework and judicial system. The foundation of the civil and commercial law in ADGM is provided by the Application of English Law Regulations 2015. Those Regulations make English Common Law (including the rules and principles of equity) directly applicable in ADGM. In addition, a wide-ranging set of well-established English statutes on civil matters are also made applicable in ADGM.

The Regulations for ADGM Courts, called ADGM Courts, Civil Evidence, Judgments, Enforcement and Judicial Appointments Regulations 2015 (ADGM Courts Regulations), are also drawn from Scots and Australian Federal law. They have been tailored specifically to meet the requirements of ADGM Courts.

Browse regulations and rules

ADGM Courts Structure

Court of Appeal
Court of First Instance
Commercial and Civil Division
Employment Division
Small Claims Division
appeals to Civil Division