The Rule of Law in ‬ the United Arab Emirates

  • 12 October 2013

The UAE’s rapid pace of development is based on its strong foundations, principally justice and the rule of law. The country’s wise leadership has accorded utmost importance to these foundations since the leadership of the Founder of the Nation, the Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (may God give peace to his soul), who believed that justice constituted the basis for stability and growth of the nation. Therefore, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (may God protect him) has always been keen to stress that law should be upheld impartially and that the UAE should always uphold justice, equality and the independence of the judiciary. On administering oath of office to new judges, the President instructed them to bear in mind that there is no authority above them, except the honor of their own conscience and law. The same message was reiterated by His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs, and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Judicial Department during a recent swearing-in ceremony of ten new judges. His Highness stressed the keen interest of the President in upholding the rule of law and justice, as the most important pillars of progress at all levels.

The UAE’s strict adherence to the rule of law and independence of judiciary is manifest in the high esteem it is regarded at the regional and international levels. His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has rightly observed that in spite of certain malicious but failed attempts, the stature and esteem of the country remains impeccable and will continue to be so as long as we have fair, honest and credible judicial institutions. The United Nations has corroborated the UAE’s distinguished record by selecting it to host the UN Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC), because of its commitment to law enforcement and its impartiality in delivering justice. The UAE holds the top position in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in the WJP Rule of Law Index of 2011, instituted by the World Justice Project. This clearly demonstrates global appreciation for the highly meritorious and trustworthy institutions of Emirati justice and the commitment of the wise leadership in upholding justice and enhancing judicial institutions in step with fresh developments that add new complexities to legal issues.

Adherence to the rule of law is central to the UAE’s comprehensive and sustainable development vision, which rises from the firm belief of its wise leadership that justice is the basis for progress, stability, development. The UAE looks ahead to become the best country in the world by 2021, as that year would mark the 50th anniversary of its founding.