Part 4 Part 4 General and Supplementary
The Hearing Panel may at any time after the commencement of proceedings, on the request of a party or of its own initiative, at a case conference, pre-hearing review or otherwise, give such directions as it thinks fit to enable the parties to prepare for the hearing and for the conduct of the proceedings, to assist the FMT to determine the issues and generally to ensure the just, expeditious and economical determination of the proceedings.
In particular, the Hearing Panel may give directions:(a) as to the manner in which the proceedings are to be conducted, including any time limits to be observed in the conduct of the oral hearing;(b) dispensing with any requirement of Parts 2 and 3 of these Rules or requiring any additional pleadings or information;(c) for the preparation and exchange of skeleton arguments;(d) requiring persons to attend and give evidence or to produce documents, including electronic records and communications;(e) as to the evidence which may be required or admitted and the extent to which it shall be oral or written, including any matter on which the Hearing Panel has powers under Rules 54 and 55;(f) as to the submission in advance of a hearing of any witness statement or expert report;(g) as to the examination or cross-examination of any witness;(h) fixing time limits with respect to any aspect of the proceedings;(i) for the disclosure between, or the production by the parties of documents or classes of documents, including electronic records and communications;(j) for the appointment and instruction of experts, whether by the Hearing Panel or by the parties and the manner in which expert evidence is to be given;(k) for the award of costs and expenses, including any allowances payable to persons in connection with their attendance before the Hearing Panel;(l) for maintaining the confidentiality of information which the Hearing Panel has power to exclude under Rule 17 from any document recording a decision of the Hearing Panel.
The Hearing Panel may:(a) put questions to the parties and witnesses;(b) invite the parties to make written or oral submissions on certain aspects of the proceedings;(c) ask the parties or third parties for information;(d) ask for documents or records relating to the proceedings to be produced;(e) require the parties or their representatives to attend meetings, whether in person or by video link or telephone conference.
A request by a party for directions shall be made in writing as soon as practicable and shall be filed with the Registrar and sent to every other party who might be affected by such directions, and the request shall be determined by the Hearing Panel taking into account the observations of the parties.
Where it appears to the Hearing Panel at any time after the commencement of proceedings that the proceedings would be facilitated by a case management conference or pre-hearing review the Hearing Panel may, on the request of a party or of its own initiative, give directions for such a conference or review to be held.
The purpose of a case management conference or pre-hearing review shall be:(a) to ensure the just, expeditious and economical conduct of the proceedings;(b) to determine the points on which the parties must present further argument or which call for further evidence to be produced;(c) to clarify the orders or relief sought by the parties, their arguments of fact and law and the points of issue between them;(d) to ensure that all agreements that can be reached between the parties about the matters in issue and the conduct of the proceedings are made and recorded;(e) to facilitate the settlement of the proceedings.
The Hearing Panel may:(a) encourage and facilitate the use of an alternative dispute resolution procedure if the Hearing Panel considers that appropriate;(b) dispense with the need for the parties to attend any hearing;(c) use technology actively to manage cases.
In preparation for a case management conference or pre-hearing review, the Registrar shall ascertain from the parties what matters if any are agreed among them.
Timetable for the oral hearing
As soon as practicable the Hearing Panel shall:(a) set a timetable outlining the steps to be taken by the parties pursuant to the directions of the Hearing Panel for the oral hearing;(b) fix the date for the oral hearing; and(c) notify the parties in writing of the date and place for the oral hearing and of any timetable for that hearing.
The Hearing Panel may receive and consider any material by way of oral evidence, written statements or documents, even if such material may not be admissible in evidence in civil or criminal proceedings in a court of law.
The Hearing Panel shall determine the proceedings brought before the FMT on a balance of probabilities.
The Hearing Panel may control the evidence by giving directions as to:(a) the issues on which it requires evidence;(b) the nature of the evidence which it requires to decide those issues; and(c) the way in which the evidence is to be placed before the Hearing Panel.
A party may not without the permission of the Hearing Panel adduce any written or oral evidence which has not previously been disclosed to all other parties to the proceedings (in the case of oral evidence, in the form of a witness statement or expert opinion).
The Hearing Panel may dispense with the need to call a witness to give evidence if a witness statement or expert opinion has been submitted in respect of that witness.
Conduct of hearings
Every oral hearing in the course of proceedings shall be opened, directed and closed by the Chairman, who shall be responsible for the proper conduct of the hearing.
The Hearing Panel shall, so far as it appears to be appropriate, seek to avoid formality in its proceedings and shall conduct any oral hearing in such manner as it considers most appropriate for the clarification of the issues and generally for the just efficient and expeditious handling of the proceedings.
The Hearing Panel may, of its own initiative or on the application of any party, direct that a witness or a party, or the representative of a party may take part in any oral proceedings by way of video link or telephone conference in such manner as the Hearing Panel may direct, and whether or not that person is physically present within the DIFC.
Unless the Hearing Panel otherwise directs, no witness of fact or expert shall be heard unless the relevant witness statement or expert report has been submitted in advance of the hearing and in accordance with any directions of the Hearing Panel.
Unless the Hearing Panel otherwise directs, all documentary exhibits of a particular class (e.g. correspondence, witness statements, contractual documents, etc) shall be presented in bundles arranged chronologically, and any document contained in such a bundle shall be deemed authentic without further proof.
Any documentary exhibit whose authenticity is challenged shall be excluded from such bundles and shall be proved by such evidence as is appropriate to the circumstances.
After the Chairman has closed the proceedings, no further evidence or argument may be submitted without the consent of the Hearing Panel.
The Hearing Panel may determine all questions of fact and law that arise in any proceedings brought before it.
Location and manner of hearings
Subject to Rule 55, every oral hearing on the merits of a Proceeding shall take place in the DIFC in the presence of all the members of the Hearing Panel.
In any other case the Hearing Panel may:(a) with the consent of all the parties, dispense with an oral hearing and make its decision on written submissions and evidence;(b) hold an oral hearing by video link or telephone conference, which the participants, including the members of the Hearing Panel, may attend whether or not they are physically present in the DIFC.
The Hearing Panel may make an order on an interim basis:(a) for the preservation of evidence or assets;(b) requiring a party to do or to cease and desist from doing any act or thing; or(c) suspending the operation of any decision which is the subject of the Reference before the Hearing Panel.
Any interim order is subject to the Hearing Panel's further order, direction or final decision.
If the urgency of the case so requires, the Hearing Panel may make an interim order on the request of a party before the observations of the other parties have been submitted, and without notice to those other parties, but in such a case the Hearing Panel shall require notice of the request and of the order to be given forthwith to all parties who are affected by the order, and any party who is so affected may request the Hearing Panel to set aside or vary the order.
If at any time a member of the Hearing Panel is unable or unwilling to act the President shall appoint a new member to fill the vacancy, and the Hearing Panel shall then decide whether the proceedings are to continue or to start afresh, and may make any consequential directions which it considers appropriate.
Representation at hearings
A party may appear at any hearing and may be represented by any person, whether or not that person is legally qualified.
However, if in any particular case the Hearing Panel is satisfied that there are good and sufficient reasons for doing so, it may refuse to permit a person to represent a party at the hearing.
The FMT may make an order for costs on an application or on its own initiative.
A person making an application for an order for costs must:(a) send or deliver a written application to the FMT and to the person against whom it is proposed that the order be made; and(b) send or deliver with the application a schedule of the costs or expenses claimed sufficient to allow summary assessment of such costs or expenses by the FMT.
An application for an order for costs may be made at any time during the proceedings but may not be made later than 28 days after the date on which the FMT sends:(a) a decision notice recording the decision which finally disposes of all issues in the proceedings; or(b) notice under Rule 93 that a withdrawal which ends the proceedings has taken effect.
The FMT may not make an order for costs against a person (the "paying person") without first:(a) giving that person an opportunity to make representations; and(b) if the paying person is an individual, considering that person's financial means.
The amount of costs or expenses to be paid under an order under this rule may be ascertained by:(a) summary assessment by the FMT;(b) agreement of a specified sum by the paying person and the person entitled to receive the costs ("the receiving person"); or(c) assessment of the whole or a specified part of the costs, including the costs or expenses of the assessment, incurred by the receiving person, if not agreed.
Upon making an order for the assessment of costs, the FMT may order an amount to be paid on account before the costs are assessed.
Deliberations and decisions of the Hearing Panel
The Hearing Panel may conduct its deliberations in the presence of all its members or in such other manner as it considers appropriate, whether or not any or all of them are in the DIFC.
Decisions of the Hearing Panel:(a) shall be communicated to the parties in writing by the Registrar;(b) shall be entered by the Registrar on the register;(c) shall, unless otherwise ordered under Rule 16, be published on the FMT website.
With the permission of the Hearing Panel, orders and decisions to which the parties consent may be drawn up and issued as orders of the FMT.
Filing and sending documents.
A document which is required by these Rules to be filed with the Registrar shall be delivered personally or by post or by facsimile or by e-mail to the Registrar's address for service (see Rule 9).
Where a person is required to state an address for service the person shall provide a physical address for service within the DIFC, and may in addition provide an e-mail or facsimile address at which the person is willing to accept service.
A document which is required by these Rules to be sent to any person other than the Registrar may be:(a) delivered personally to the person's physical address for service;(b) sent by post to the person's physical address for service;(c) sent to the person by e-mail at any e-mail address which the person has provided as an address for service;(d) sent to the person by facsimile at any facsimile address which the person has provided as an address for service.
If a person has not provided an address for service, a document may:(a) in the case of a company, be delivered personally or sent by post to the secretary of the company at the registered address or principal place of business of the company;(b) in the case of a partnership, be delivered personally or sent by post to the last known address of any one of the partners;(c) in the case of any other person, be delivered personally to him or sent by post to the last known address of that person.
A document shall be treated as having been filed or sent at the time when, having regard to all the circumstances, including the method of filing or sending, the incidence of non-working days and the differences between time zones, the document should in the ordinary course have come to the notice of the intended recipient.
The Hearing Panel may dispense with the filing or sending of a document if the interests of justice so require.
The Hearing Panel may, for good reason, authorise a document to be sent or filed by an alternative method to those permitted by these Rules.
A document served or filed by a party in any Proceedings may be amended only with the permission of the Hearing Panel.
Permission to amend such a document may be granted on such terms as the Hearing Panel thinks fit, and the Hearing Panel shall give such further or consequential directions as may be necessary.
Calculation of Time
Where the time for doing any act expires on a non-business day, the act is in time if done on the next business day.
Subject to legislative provisions to the contrary, the Hearing Panel may extend or abridge the time for doing any act under these Rules, whether or not expired.
Non-compliance: non-attendance: irregularities
If any party fails to comply with these Rules or any direction given in accordance with these Rules, the Hearing Panel may, if it considers the justice of the case so requires:(a) order that such party be barred from taking any further part in the proceedings without the permission of the Hearing Panel;(b) draw such inferences from that party's failure to comply with such Rules or direction as it considers are justified in the circumstances.
If any party fails to attend any hearing, case management conference or pre-hearing review of which it has received proper written notice, the Hearing Panel may continue with such case management conference or pre-hearing review in the absence of that party.
Any irregularity resulting from failure to comply with these Rules shall not of itself render the proceedings void, and the Hearing Panel may give such directions as it thinks just to cure the irregularity.
Clerical mistakes or errors arising from any accidental slip or omission in any document recording a decision of the Hearing Panel may be corrected by the Chairman by a certificate signed by the Chairman.
95.(1) Subject to paragraph (2), a party may give notice of the withdrawal of its case, or any part of it:(a) by sending or delivering to the FMT a written notice of withdrawal; or(b) orally at a hearing.(2) Notice of withdrawal will not take effect unless the FMT consents to the withdrawal.(3) The FMT must notify each party in writing that a withdrawal has taken effect under this rule.
The President may issue practice directions in relation to the procedures governed by these Rules.
Financial Markets Tribunal