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On March 5th the DIFC Courts signed a Memorandum of Guidance with the Federal Court of Malaysia, outlining procedures for the mutual recognition and enforcement of money judgments.

After the signing of the cooperation agreement, Tun Arifin bin Zakaria, Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Malaysia, delivered the first lecture of 2017 for the DRA Academy of Law “The Complimentary Roles of Commercial Courts and Arbitration”.

Cooperation was the underlying theme of the lecture. The New York Convention has rightly been referred to as the single most important pillar on which the edifice of international arbitration rests. According to Chief Justice Zakaria’s lecture, the convention not only provides for a framework for international enforcement, but also outlines a framework for a culture of national cooperation.

Before a country can begin to market itself as an appealing destination for foreign investment, it must first demonstrate cohesion between the domestic judiciary and arbitral bodies. The success of any arbitration mechanism also rests in having a judiciary that recognises the finality of arbitral awards and thus aids in the enforcement of such awards.

“Existing dispute resolution mechanisms have reached levels of sophistication. The continued success of arbitration and commercial justice in any jurisdiction is heavily reliant on this symbiotic relationship between the courts and the arbitration regime. Existing relationships that do not take this into account have had calls to be rebalanced,” said Chief Justice Zakaria.

The MoG supports business certainty for trade and commerce with Malaysia, currently estimated to be worth over USD 6 billion each year. This is in addition to similar relationships already established with judiciaries in China, Singapore and South Korea.

The Memorandum of Guidance between DIFC Courts and the Federal Court of Malaysia is a practical example of how mature legal systems support the global development of commercial justice and dispute resolution.