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“British Bar should cancel their seminar with Dubai arbitration”. Lawyers outraged after law journal

International lawyers are taking issue with the British & Irish Commercial Bar Association (BICBA) holding a seminar in collaboration with the University of Dubai and the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC) on the 14th of March. The agenda for the seminar is to discuss and promote the UAE as a “world centre for arbitration”. The Solicitors Journal reported “Commercial Bar under fire for promoting Dubai as a world arbitration centre” last week. The Law Society Gazette similarly published “Don’t promote the UAE, bar association warned”.


Ben Cooper, Barrister of Doughty Street Chambers and Radha Stirling, founder of Detained in Dubai raised the issue with BICBA, strongly advising them to avoid promoting Dubai due to widescale legal abuse and corruption. Stirling advised the BICBA that the chairman of DIAC had been directly involved in serious evidenced misconduct, citing the Haddad case, where DIAC & Baker & McKenzie Chairman Dr Habib Al Mulla illegally represented both parties in civil proceedings without permission or knowledge in one of the most blatant cases of abuse. So far, neither Al Mulla nor Baker & McKenzie have responded to correspondence from “Detained in Dubai” on the issue.

Radha Stirling said today “If the head of arbitration in Dubai would be disbarred and jailed in the UK, how can Dubai be trusted or respected as an arbitration venue of choice? The UAE has an immature judiciary and legal abuse is commonplace and culturally acceptable. Even if the laws themselves are changed, society will take a long time to catch up”.

Following the law journal publications, solicitors and barristers worldwide have expressed their dissatisfaction at the prospect of the UK bar association supporting the DIAC. Prominent US attorney and professor, Dr Jonathan Levy said on the topic “I have had clients wrongfully imprisoned in the UAE. Non citizens have very few rights and the civil