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The purpose of this assignment will be to evaluate and analyze the justice system in the United Arab Emirates. In order to bring home the matter, it will be wise mentioning the states that comprise the Emirates. I will discuss its mode of leadership as a tool to enhance my discussion, provide a clear understanding of the existing phenomenon. I will then commence to illustrate with real case scenarios the subject of justice. Since this is an argumentative essay, I will not take sides, but rather expose both sides of the coin.
Abu Dhabi is far much the largest state in the Emirates and, therefore, it will form part of our discussion as I will expound on its policing system. I will describe both the achievements and failures which have occurred and responsibility to bring criminals into custody. In the final part of the assignment I will include a personal point of view about the whole matter and will also try to recommend some solutions upon the different challenges facing the system as a whole.
In this research paper, I will go ahead to look at the present condition in the judicial system of the United Arab Emirates and also perform an evaluation on the structure of the police: Abu Dhabi police. It will be important to know that Abu Dhabi is also the capital city of the United Arab Emirates. The Ministry of Interior has been given the permission to take care of public security, law and order. Under this same ministry, the national police who are the major unit that takes responsibility in maintaining public order as well as preventing and investigating reported crimes in the nation as a whole. Unlike most of other Arab countries, in the United Arab Emirates people from all genders have been included into the judicial system as well as in the law enforcement departments. The United Arab Emirates is governed by Kuwaiti legal system (United States Department of States, 2001).
It’s observed that the judicial system has been assigned the responsibility of providing fair and just public hearings, which in essence join together sufficient manner of appealing in courts. According to an article published by the United States Department of States dubbed “County Reports on Human Rights Practices (2001)”, it specifies that in the UAE, detainees are never put in remand prisons for more than four days before they are charged for their respective crimes and if these crimes undergo the accusation phase, detention of the criminals may take twenty one days. There are understandable divisions of court structures so that the lowest form of the court are both traffic and crime courts, the crime courts are involved in providing lawful services to those offences, whose imprisonment will not exceed three years. Defendants of criminal act cases are made to be represented by lawyers or rather attorneys of their own choice and those who lack legal fees are represented by lawyers appointed by the court itself meaning that each and every defendant is allowed a fair judgment under a watchful eye of a legal professional representative. Unlike felony cases, courts in the UAE are not obliged to appoint lawyers in crime cases.
There are two separate boards in the State Security Courts, which are involved in providing legal decisions on matters concerning crimes against State Security or to also deal with matters forwarded to it by Council of Ministers. These trials are mostly held in closed sessions and sometimes they are opened for public journalists. According to this report, these trials are considered to be meeting international standards. Still on this subject, ,matters concerning State Security are heard in military courts, With its members being armed forces personnel who have the power and authority to prosecute civilians found guilty of martial felonies. It is noted that these martial law came into existence immediately after the UAE got its independence from Iraqi. At this particular time, three hundred people found guilty of collaborating with the enemy were prosecuted by these military courts and out of the three hundred arrested; twenty nine were subjected to unappeasable death sentences as the rest were made to serve life imprisonment. Despite the fact that the judicial system was established for the purpose of providing transparent and fair trials, the UAE courts have continued practicing injustices and it’s argued that in this Arab country, the rule of the mighty holds the day. In another case, a British journalist was jailed for six years after she took the initiative of reporting to the police that she had been raped.
The Abu Dhabi Police has always been criticized for their role in turning on matters pertaining to break the law. Despite the fact that the country is ruled under Sharia law, the administration police has refused to listen to calls involving matters pertaining to immorality and abuse of alcohol. The government owns most of the hotels in Abu Dhabi and it has continued getting mining fortunes from unsuspecting tourists by highly pricing their hospitability facilities let alone under-protecting the same source of revenue. In its oath, Abu Dhabi Police swears to be responsible for providing well-organized law enforcement and emergency procedures to both the locals and visitors, but this oath has never been put to use as more cases, especially dealing with rape are mishandled, and according to a report published by Abu Dhabi newspaper the National(2010), it was observed that individuals felt afraid to come forward and report their attackers lest they were themselves charged for practicing immorality or being subjected to shaming them and their respective families according to its new plan of shaming criminals as a way of reducing cases of irresponsibility. The article showed that the Police had come up with a way of reducing traffic and minor offences by adding a new method of reducing crimes within the United Arab Emirates as they went ahead and introduced public shaming. After the news announcements in media outlets, videos of this people doing criminal things was aired to the whole people of the public so that they are embarrassed to their fellow citizens. It has been reported that the Abu Dhabi Police do not do the accepted thing to the interest of the public, but rather continue to engage publicly in corruption, while at the same time denying its citizen of their basic rights of protection.
However the Abu Dhabi Police has continued to put more efforts to remain relevant with the changing world by constructing buildings that meet international standards and according to an article dated April 2011 dubbed: “Abu Dhabi police Buildings meet Top Security Standards”. Interpol organization recommended the Abu Dhabi police force for its efforts to develop a building that was to serve as a model for the world police body of 188 member countries, whose role was to resolve security needs as well as provide a reference point for buildings with high architectural quality. According to the article from the Abu Dhabi Week (October 2011), Abu Dhabi police set a world record for conducting a lecture that was attended by more than three thousand citizens and thereby earning the Guinness World Record.
The Abu Dhabi police have also introduced the use of technology in its services since it has gone ahead to develop a website that advertises the services it offers to the people of Abu Dhabi. Looking through the website it’s easy to get emergency numbers that people can use to get to the police in case they are faced with any problems or difficulties. The website of the police has also been divided into a section that visitors into United Arab Emirates can use to reach the Policemen. These visitors are mainly tourists from other countries. When visitors are found guilty in Abu Dhabi they are taken to courts which make arrangements to transfer them back to their original countries. Despite these achievements of the Abu Dhabi police force it’s completely unexpected for the same police that undermine individual rights to earn awards and recommendations,
In my own personal opinion, I feel that the legal structure has both failed and won in its role to serve the citizen of United Arab Emirates since it has always depend on the government in order to perform its duties well. The main remedy to this phenomenon is basically to make the justice system an independent body with decisions and legal practices left with the people responsible for providing justice to the country. The major challenge facing the UAE justice system is the fact that the country’s culture recognizes and value hereditary kingship rule, which advocates for holding others not responsible for offences committed by certain members of the society. The police, on the other hand, are supposed to be checked afresh and those found guilty of corruption dropped from the force altogether. Since the UAE is the only Arab Country that fully recognizes the western culture and it is making great efforts to abandon its traditional way of running the Emirates. All in all, the research has successfully met its objective as I have been able to look at both sides of the justice system in the United Arab Emirates.