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Speaking about the court in the Emirates, it should be noted that it is represented by the Highest court, which functions as the Federal court of the country. The Supreme Federal court consists of four independent judges, which are elected by the head of country, and the presiding officer. All legal relations, which arise between subjects of the country, local or federal authority, are subordinated to this highest court of justice.

General characteristics of the UAE legal system

The legal system, which is practiced in the UAE, is mixed, as the norms of the international law are closely intertwined with the norms of Sharia. Moreover, in practice, Islamic law regulates not only personal relationships, but also certain aspects of procedural and criminal matters. However, the norms of Sharia are often applied in situations where the traditional legislation does not regulate certain relationships directly.

It should be noted that its own rules of law and the relevant Codes operate on the territory of some Emirates. But the base of the legal framework of the Emirates is the basic law, or the Constitution of the country. This particular legislative act defines the common rights and liberties of the citizens of the country.

The judiciary and regulatory authorities of UAE

The current judicial system of the Emirates is the result of the effective legal reforms which were initiated by the country in the 60-ies of the last century. Beforehand, the traditional judicial system presumed the consideration of the arising disputes directly by the leaders of the Emirate. Since 1968, the secular law courts have started to act in the UAE.

The basic law provides for the operation of both federal and local courts, which are responsible for the cases, which are not assigned by the Constitution to the jurisdiction of the federal courts. The federal court system, in its turn, includes the following institutions and establishments:

  • The courts of first and second instance (appeal courts);
  • The courts of cassation and the courts of the highest instance (Supreme Court of the Emirates).

The courts of the first instance are also separated by the branches of law. These can be Sharia, criminal or civil courts. All the administrative cases and commercial disputes are within the competence of the civil courts, which are customary divided according to the degree of the jurisdiction, respectively:

  • Partial jurisdiction: the sole judge consider claims, the amount of which does not exceed 100 thousand Dirhams;
  • Full jurisdiction: three judges consider claims which exceed 100 thousand Dirhams.

Besides, the structure of the civil courts can include various specialized departments. For example, the departments which consider family proceedings, or labour or commercial disputes.

Criminal courts are divided in the same way, where the sole judge considers minor offences and a judicial panel of three judges considers more serious offences and crimes.

The main regulatory authority in the judicial system of the Emirates is the highest court – the Supreme court. All the judicial institutions within the country are accountable to this particularly establishment. The interpretation of the law and the Basic law, disputes between the subjects of the federation, governmental actions and much more are under the jurisdiction of this instance. All the procedural judgements, which are rendered by the Supreme Court, are final and are not being subject to any further appeal in other instances.

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