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Former chief justice resigns from role on Dubai financial court

Frank Clarke said he did not want the controversy surrounding the appointment to impact on his role as president of the Law Reform Commission.

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Chief Justice of Ireland Justice Frank Clarke (PA)

Chief Justice of Ireland Justice Frank Clarke (PA)

Chief Justice of Ireland Justice Frank Clarke (PA)

Ireland’s former chief justice Frank Clarke has resigned as a judge in a financial court in Dubai only days after being sworn in.

Mr Clarke and former president of Ireland’s High Court Peter Kelly were among four retired judges sworn in as judges of the Dubai International Financial Centre Courts last week.

The courts arbitrate on commercial and civil disputes involving companies operating in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates.

Mr Clarke’s appointment was questioned by some within the legal professional in Ireland, particularly as he was recently appointed as the president of the Law Reform Commission for a five-year term.

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Retired chief justice Frank Clarke (PA)

Retired chief justice Frank Clarke (PA)

PA

Retired chief justice Frank Clarke (PA)

The commission reviews current laws in Ireland and conducts research on potential legal reforms.

In a statement confirming his resignation, Mr Clarke said he did not want controversy over his appointment in Dubai to affect the work of the commission.

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“Ireland and many Irish companies do significant business in and with Dubai and in that context it is important that there be an independent and trusted dispute resolution system available to those companies,” he said.

“However, I am concerned that the current controversy could impact on the important work of the Law Reform Commission to which I am committed.

“In those circumstances, I can confirm that I have today submitted my resignation as a judge of the DIFC courts to the Chief Justice of that court.”

Mr Clarke retired as chief justice in 2021.

A spokesman for Justice Minister Helen McEntee said: “Neither the Minister nor the Department were informed in advance of these appointments, nor had they any role in this appointments process. This is a private matter for the individuals concerned.”


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