Menu Close

How is the Summary Suit is different from Substantive Suit?

This article is related to the Civil procedure in the UAE. The procedure includes both payment orders on the basis of cheques and original documents as well as the normal civil procedure where the plaintiff has Invoices, agreement, and documents to prove the claim in the civil court.


The UAE Civil Procedural Law summarizes the procedures and jurisdiction for litigation related to civil and commercial matters. It demonstrates the legal framework of the institution, trying, execution, and challenging the judgments/orders passed.

Under The UAE legal system, two general procedures are provided, namely:


Summary Suit

– This procedure is a temporary/instant resolution in a settlement where parties show their interest in order to obtain judgment without any unnecessary delay.

– It is constituted to work in an efficient manner but the claimant must be experienced/have an admitted claim against debtor/defendant/opposing party in order to avoid full-fledged trial, additional expenses and risk causing delays.

– It is considered to be a simple and direct procedure which is also speedy in nature as compared to others. Since there is no specific definition given to the summary procedure but is mentioned in the statute in accordance with Article 145, a judge trying the suit under the summary procedure, if not satisfied with the admission of liability or if the court is of the opinion that claims preferred by Claimant demand trial/evidence to be led to satisfying the conscience of Court, he may transfer the same to such competent court.


Substantive Suit

– A simpler suit is instituted by the representation of a written application consisting of facts of the suits by the claimant (Article 42 CPC) against the defendant, seeking relief from the court, and a statement is submitted by the defendant where he gives his defence or replies to the statement given by the claimant. However, the statute has provided the litigants for alternate procedure/remedy under The UAE Civil Procedures Code No.11 of 1992, named as “payment orders”. It can be explained as a remedy which is provided in order to prevent any unreasonable obstacle laid down by the defendant who has no defence or reply to the statement made by the claimant.

– It is an instant relief; in case the defendant does not apply for a leave to defend, the claimant shall be entitled to judgment forthwith. Also, if the defendant does apply, the court may partly allow leave to defend and impose such conditions on the defendant as it may deem fit. As per Article 143 related to applying for a payment order, the condition precedent would be that the debt has to be admitted and the claimant has unequivocally applied to recover a liquidated demand for money payable on a written contract and commercial paper or type of short-term debt instrument.

In order to challenge this order, the defendant has the right – according to Article 147 of the CPC – to file a grievance/review within 15 days from the date of notifying him/her with the order for payment and thereafter the defendant has 30 days to appeal the order for payment following the end of the grievance time bar (i.e. starting from the end of the15 days).



The summary procedure is a quick, effective and efficient resolution of the claimant which has proven to be the most preferred mode in cases of admitted, fixed and obvious liabilities like cheque or any other commercial paper. Ever since its inception, lending sectors and private lenders have been availing the summary procedure to retrieve their rightful claims from erroneous debtors.

Although it is preferred for the claimant mode, it is used very sparingly by the judiciary of the UAE and it is an emerging concept, unlike other countries. Also, a downfall to payment order is that the interest cannot be availed on the principle amount. Hence, the claimant is not inclined to move under “payment order”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Get A Quote

WhatsApp chat