A Memorandum of Guidance was signed on 4th October 2017 between the High Court of the Republic of Zambia (‘the High Court’) and the Dubai International Financial Centre Courts (‘the DIFC Courts’). The purpose of the memorandum is to set out the parties’ understanding of the procedures for the enforcement of each party’s money judgments in the other party’s courts. The memorandum of guidance is concerned only with judgments requiring a person to pay a sum of money to another person.
Zambia is an important regional trade hub. According to MIT Economic Complexity Index Data, Zambia is the UAE’s fourth largest source of imports from Africa. These exports, mostly in the form of raw materials, have grown rapidly in recent years, while the UAE is a significant source of foreign direct investment and finance into Zambia, intensifying the need for courts systems in the two countries to collaborate on areas such as contract enforcement.
The agreement signed by the Hon. Chief Justice of the Republic of Zambia Mrs. Irene C. Mambilima and DIFC Courts Chief Justice Michael Hwang in Dubai, clarifies the procedures for the mutual recognition and enforcement of money judgments between the two courts.
Hon. Chief Justice Mrs. Irene C. Mambilima said:
“According to the Zambia Central Statistical Office Monthly Bulletins for 2015 to 2016, Zambia was UAE’s 53rd largest global import source and the 4th largest African import source. From November, 2014 to June 2016, approximately US$500 million – US$600 million of international trade was conducted between Zambia and the UAE.”
The foregoing is evidence that there are a lot of Contractual Agreements between the two Countries and therefore, the need for international trade agreements that will protect both parties.
Hon. Chief Justice Mambilima added that “The world is now a global village with trade and commerce thriving across borders. An effective and expedient dispute resolution mechanism has to take into account this reality.”
DIFC Courts Chief Justice Michael Hwang said: “Zambia is an emerging gateway to southern Africa for UAE businesses, while imports from the country have increased markedly in recent years. Underpinning both trends are an increasing number of contracts, of which, inevitably, some will result in disputes. This agreement gives additional confidence to businesses operating in both the UAE and Zambia that a breach of contract will be enforced. It also reaffirms the DIFC Courts’ position as one of the world’s most connected judiciaries.
A practical guide for the international business community, the Memorandum of Guidance (MoG) enables both courts to outline what will happen when a money judgment is transferred from one jurisdiction to another. This is the second such agreement signed by the DIFC Courts with an African judiciary, following a 2014 memorandum with the High Court of Kenya (Commercial and Admiralty Division).