State Justice and the Rule of Law

  • 8 April 2009

The President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (may God protect him) has affirmed on several occasions that the UAE observes the Rule of Law. The UAE’s legal framework governs all activities and relations of the State, and protects all rights, without exception and above other considerations. Last Monday, seven new judges took the oath of office in the presence of His Highness. It was an important occasion for the reiteration of this truth in order to further instill it in the Emirati community and its various institutions. The President, His Highness underlined on this occasion the many important principles that could constitute modern states. First, all human beings have a right to justice without exception and Rule of Law reigns above all considerations. This was an important message for citizens, foreigners, investors, businessmen and workers belonging to all walks of life in the UAE. They are all equal and their rights are preserved under the Rule of Law without exception. Second, His Highness spoke of the importance of settling legal issues expeditiously. This is an important legal principle, as tardiness in delivering justice is unfair. Therefore, the Leadership stresses on the necessity of providing all possible assistance to that ensure resolution of disputes and deliverance of judgments on various issues. Third, judgments are announced according to Islamic law and applied laws in the country. This brings to light the country’s pride in Islam and all that Islamic law represents. This is not indicative of the UAE’s isolation but conversely its openness towards all for achieving justice and safeguarding rights. Fourth, it is necessary for judges to work on achieving justice, irrespective of any fear or bigotry. They should be a model of honesty, neutrality and devotion towards their work. In this regard, His Highness, The President, underscored the importance of judicial immunity and the prestige attached to the high office of judges, who have to uphold the responsibility as guardians of Law. Fifth, there is no authority above the judge except honor, conscientiousness and law. These principles are reflective of the UAE’s fundamental values, in that they enshrine the independence and neutrality of the judiciary, which brooks no intervention in its affairs under any circumstance or by any party since its independence is the main source for achieving justice.

No community can live in security, peace and growth without justice and no development or improvement in any field could occur without the Rule of Law and the independence of those administering justice. This policy is what the UAE has followed since its establishment and this is the ideal adopted by its wise leadership. The result is stability at the social, security and political levels in which UAE community thrives. One should not overlook the positive relations among members of the community and the values of coexistence and tolerance that it imbibes. These virtues have promoted UAE in becoming an employment, investment and touristic haven. The state remains a protector of legal rights and the dignity of its residents, who in turn respect the law and observe its rules.