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LAWS1433-The Judicial System Of UAE

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1.Pick a country…(not U.S. or U.K. or Australia/ New Zealand…or Canada)

2.Describe the system they use.

3.Describe type of Criminal Code. Details please.

4.Who is the prosecutor... (the office not the person.)

5.Describe court system….structure etc.

6.Describe the unique features of their criminal law system and use the comparative context with the Canadian experience. Don’t belabour the Canadian experience we know what that is already.


The judicial system of UAE is centred on the British law, civil law system with impacts from French law, Islamic law, Roman law and Egyptian law. Under the Constitution, all States are permitted either to establish individual judiciary or to unite with federal court systems. The judicial system of UAE had dual nature by way of this has federal court and local court with then Supreme Court Based at Abu Dhabi. In the following parts, legal system of United Arab Emirates, type of criminal code, prosecutor, court system, or structure in United Arab Emirates and unique feature of UAE criminal law system is discussed and critically examined.

It was declared by United Arab Emirates itself as self-regulating independent state and start the procedure of making the central government that in turn has made the judicial system to regulate central affairs. The Constitutional Amendment Law No.1 of 1996 had finalised the provisional constitution with certain other amendments. The UAE Constitution renders that Islam is the allowed religion and Arabic formal language of the United Arab Emirates. The Constitution confines the powers of central government and every individual state has retained powers over the personal inner affairs as long as the rules and regulations do not conflict with the central law. As the result, there are levels of the judicial system in the United Arab Emirates. The laws are therefore made and applied at the state level as well as central level. In the simple word, it can be said that the central government is accountable for the central policy, state’s affairs, learning, well-being, protection, international policies, banking, and indemnification, transaction such as civil transaction and profitmaking transaction and publication (Alhammadi, 2016). 

The states are entitled to create rules and regulations in the fields that relevant to themselves and in the fields in which the central government has not required to, or has yet to apply the individual rules, regulations, and laws. These fields are diverse and wider ranging. For an instance, the international possession of land is allowed in some chosen fields of Dubai, in the leasehold deal as well as freehold deal. While in states of Abu Dhabi Freehold property deals were not allowed at all for immigrants. However, in the present time, in the past few years the leasehold properties sales (in chosen field only) have permitted in Abu Dhabi. However, this is still not conceivable to purchase the freehold property (Bing & Al-Mutawakel, 2018).

The penal code or criminal code refers to the document that accumulates all, or a substantial amount of, the specific criminal law’s authority. Normally, the criminal code would comprise crimes that are identified in the authorities, fines that may be levied for the crimes and certain common requirements (Dayton & Takahashi, 2018). The criminal code is comparatively general in the jurisdiction of civil law, which tend to create legal system around principle and code that are comparatively abstract and apply them on the matter by matter basis (Zimmer, 2015). On the other hand, they are unusual in the jurisdiction of common law. The criminal code is usually supported for the overview of constancy to the judicial system and for creating criminal law more manageable to the populations. The criminal code can help ignore the chilling effects where the legislature and case laws appear to be either unreachable or away from the understanding to the common people. Otherwise, it is argued by the critics that the criminal code is too severe and that they fail to render the sufficient suppleness for the rules, regulations, and laws to be proper.

As per the Article 121 of the Constitution of 1971 of United Arab Emirates, the authority has been provided to the federation to apply the rules, regulations and laws in respect of the penalty law’s main legislatures. The Penal Code of United Arab Emirates is the set of lawful provisions to determine the activities that are identified as the crime and describe the penalties levied on them. The Criminal Code involves two kinds of rules. The first general requirements that is applicable to each crime and all fines like the requirements related to the efficiency of the Criminal Code in respect of the period, place, legitimizations, accountability, or the penalty preventatives and the categories of the fines and crimes. Secondly, the provisions of all the crimes that describe the particulars and regulate the proper penalties. 


Further, as per the first article of the Federal Criminal Code of UAE, “Islamic Sharia requirements must apply to the punishments, vengeance, and crime related to blood money. Reprehension crime and fine is required to be decided as per the requirements of the Penal Code and other criminal rules, regulations and laws.” In this way, the Federal Representative stated to the Islamic Sharia requirements in the cases related to sentence, reprisal, and crimes related to blood money. For that reason, the Federal Criminal Code was set to be limited to decide the crime and censoriousness fines, and it adapts with Islamic Sharia method in illegalisation and the sentence. (Padley & Clutterham, 2016).

As per amended Article 7 of the Criminal Procedures Law, the Public Prosecution has limited jurisdiction to initiate and accuse the criminal proceeding. The public prosecution was established to get the legal justice and fairness in regarding the public rights of the state. The public prosecution also has the power to trace this until the final decision is given. The Public Prosecution is considered as the part of legal body (Kaul, 2018). This assumes the investigating authority and applying the fines, as well as discussing the suspected people to the capable court in the case where their participation in the crime is proved. It also undertakes the problems in respect of the renunciation of offenders and the follow-up according with the foreign convention, in collaboration with foreign Criminal Police (Hassanein, 2018). 

The federal system of United Arab Emirates, in respect of legal order, is categorised in the trial court, appeal court and the Supreme Court. The United Arab Emirates Federal Supreme Court in Abu Dhabi, is the uppermost court in the central legal system. The United Arab Emirates Federal Supreme Court is also usually known as the United Arab Emirates Supreme Court of Cassation (Elwerfelli & Benhin, 2018). The appeal court in every individual legal system seated in the single state has hear the appeal on the ruling from lower court of the domestic state. The Federal Supreme Court has authority to decide various matters such as, disputes amongst state member  in the association, or among the states or more and central government, examination of the legal status of the central law, examination of constitutional status of the legislations, and inspection of the structure, legislation generally. Additionally, the federal court is capable to arbitrate the dispute as discussed in Article 102 of Constitution and every other dispute in the states that do not have the individual legal system (Ahmed & Ghany, 2017).

Further, the State legal system is also divided in the trial court, appeal court and court of cassation. The state legal system of Dubai, Ras Al-Khaimah and Abu Dhabi have the individual courts of cassation, entirely separate and different from the United Arab Emirates Federal Supreme Court of Cassation. The State judicial system have jurisdiction to arbitrate dispute in the concerned state except that is reserved for central court (Johnsen, 2017).

The criminal law system of Canada and UAE is significantly different. It may enhance the pressure and the issues rising from the arrest and sentence in UAE. For an instance, there are no bond systems, no trial, and no lawyer for deposition. The Canadian Government would look to make sure people are not fined for being the foreign person and that people are neither differentiated against nor deprived of fairness because of the citizenship of Canada. It cannot, however, seek preferential treatment for you or try to exempt you from the due process of local law. The Canadian government may not impede in a legal system of other nation, like people of Canada not stand for other government interfering in legal procedure of Canada (Parreñas & Silvey, 2016).

The government of United Arab Emirates undoubtedly knows the significance of the sovereign excellent legal system in appealing the international investments. Therefore, they have followed various root-breaking procedures in this regard, and have made various options for investor, to suit the different requirements and contexts. At the present, this is for an investor to recognise, assess and know the appropriateness of the options and use them to secure the interest in best possible manner 



Ahmed, R., & Ghany, A. (2017). Threat-The Role of Coercion under UAE Law. Ct. Uncourt, 4, 11.

Alhammadi, M. S. (2016). Ambiguity and Conflict in the Implementation of Evidence Law in Criminal Matters: a Study of the United Arab Emirates Jurisprudence. Asian Journal of Criminology, 11(3), 155-178.

Bing, Z. Y., & Al-Mutawakel, O. (2018). Infrastructure developing and economic growth in United Arab Emirates. Business and Economic Research, 8(1), 95-114.

Dayton, B., & Takahashi, S. (2018). Arbitration Developments in the United Arab Emirates. Asian Dispute Review, 2018(1), 30-37.

Elwerfelli, A., & Benhin, J. K. A. (2018). Oil a blessing or curse: A comparative assessment of Nigeria, Norway and the United Arab Emirates.

Hassanein, A. S. (2018). The Impact of Islamic Criminal Law on the Qatari Penal Code. Arab Law Quarterly, 32(1), 60-79.

Johnsen, S. (2017). Social enterprise in the United Arab emirates. Social Enterprise Journal, 13(4), 392-409.

Kaul, M. (2018). New Bankruptcy Law in the UAE. Ct. Uncourt, 5, 5.

Padley, M., & Clutterham, C. (2016). Common Pitfalls of Arbitration in the United Arab Emirates: Interference and Enforcement. Journal of International Arbitration, 33(1), 83-98.

Parreñas, R.S. & Silvey, R. (2016) Domestic workers refusing neo-slavery in the UAE. Contexts, 15(3), pp.36-41.

Zimmer, M. (2015). From the Executive Editor: Acknowledging Our Court System Colleagues In Tunisia. International Journal for Court Administration, 7(1).


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