The Court of Appeal reconsiders the CFI’s power to grant damages for breach of whistleblowing protections.
Last April, we reported on the judgment of the Court of First Instance (“CFI“) of the Dubai International Financial Centre (“DIFC”) in the case of Bassam Khalifa v S.W.I.F.T (Dubai) Limited (the “CFI Decision”). The CFI Decision indicated that the CFI has the power to grant relief for losses suffered as a result of a breach of Article 64 of DIFC Law No. 7 of 2018 (the “Operating Law”), which provides that an employee making a good faith disclosure of information in accordance with the Operating Law should not be dismissed or suffer other detrimental action.
Permission to appeal the CFI Decision was granted, and the appeal was heard by the DIFC Court of Appeal. The judgment of the Court of Appeal, issued in November, overturned the CFI Decision; the Court of Appeal held that the Claimant was not entitled to relief from the CFI in respect of the alleged contravention of Article 64 of the Operating Law. However, the Court of Appeal confirmed that, in principle, the CFI does have the power to grant relief for losses suffered as a result of a breach of Article 64.
In this update, we summarise the background to the case, the arguments put forward by the parties on appeal, and the decision of the Court of Appeal. Click on the image below to find out more.