The WLF represents a broad spectrum of leaders in the field of litigation, and many more working in the wider legal fields.
Among its supporters are international giants: Coca Cola, HSBC, UNILEVER and Nokia.
The WLF’s decision to hold their 5th annual forum in the United Arab Emirates city of Dubai has come as an surprise to those who consider Dubai to have a discriminatory, immature and abusive legal system, openly operation on each judges discretion rather than a standard legal precedent.
Many consider it an unusual choice to hold this important legal conference in a country where people are regularly denied justice and tortured, sometimes while waiting to be charged or even released.
The UAE has a well documented history of cases being hijacked by unethical lawyers, in a legal system which seemingly permits faked evidence and faked confessions in court, even confessions “taken” from individuals without their will or knowledge.
Human rights campaigners such as Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai are shocked at the choice of location. “The legal system is simply not credible,” says Stirling. “There are recorded situations where lawyers have acted for both Defence and Prosecution, an act which would get a UK lawyer disbarred. Evidence is regularly faked and accepted by judges with vested interests. The list goes on. Having this important forum held in the UAE sends entirely the wrong message about the WLF.”
These ill-advised Dubai court judgements have far reaching consequences. Unethical financial practices in combination with the courts’ arbitrary decision making, enable Dubai banks to generate Interpol Red Notices under false pretences. By illegally adding debtors to the Interpol watch lists, UAE banks are effectively able to enlist Interpol as debt collecting agents. This causes many pointless and costly extradition hearings with other countries, often for very small amounts of money.
Stirling, says in a statement on the World Litigation Forum 2018, “While we are stunned at the idea of holding such an important legal forum in Dubai, our advice remains the same; all travellers to Dubai need to make thorough pre-travel checks to ensure personal freedom and safety. Individuals should make themselves aware of unfamiliar local laws and the potential consequences of falling foul of them”.