Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
Click here for more details

United Arab Emirates > Legal Developments > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

The Rules and Procedures Followed Before the Criminal Courts under the UAE Criminal Procedure Law

After having explained the procedures of transferring cases to the criminal courts, in this part we will describe the procedures following the transfer and the rules to be followed before the criminal judge in the hearings.

After having explained the procedures of transferring cases to the criminal courts, in this part we will describe the procedures following the transfer and the rules to be followed before the criminal judge in the hearings.

After the investigation process in the public prosecution is completed, if the General Attorney decides to transfer the case to Criminal Courts by issuing referral order, attendance of the accused becomes mandatory in the criminal court proceedings.

However, he has to be given an advanced notice of 3 days before the hearing date, if the crime is a misdemeanor. The period has to be 10 days if the crime is a Felony.

The court notice has to indicate what the charges are and what the penalties are. Such notice of referral of the case to the court has to be delivered to the accused personally, either to his home or his workplace. Nevertheless, if the location of the accused is unknown it has to be delivered to the nearest Police station of his residence. If his residence is unknown then the notice of the referral has to be delivered to the nearest Police Station of the Crime scene.

On the basis of the Criminal Procedures Law, Federal Law No. (35) Of 1992 and its amendments, in general, attendance of the accused is mandatory in the criminal cases unless the expected sentence of the crime does not include jail or deportation and is only limited to fines.

The courts always have the discretionary power to request the personal attendance of the accused.

In all cases, if the accused is not able to attend and has valid and justifiable reasons, he has the right to send his lawyer or his family member to explain to the criminal courts the reason for his absence or why he has failed to appear before the court and to request for another hearing date as per Article No. 160 of the Criminal Procedures Law, Federal Law No. (35) Of 1992 and its amendments.

Only if the Court considers the reason to be valid and decided to accept it, they have the discretionary power to shift the hearing date to another day for the accused. The accused then shall be presented to the court without any handcuffs or shackles. However, he still has to be under necessary observation.

In all hearings, Prosecutor has to attend and the Court has to consider his request and give their decision.

Throughout the criminal court proceeding, respecting the order and the procedures is mandatory. If anyone of the audience disturbs its order, the judges have the right to direct his or her removal from the hearing. If he or she refuses, the court has the right to put him in jail for 24 hours and ask him to pay a fine.

Most of the hearings have to be held in public, unless the courts decide to have the hearing in a closed session in order to prevent certain individuals from attending.

The witnesses have to be invited to attend the hearing on the basis of a request from one of the parties. After the approval of the court. The official notice will have to be sent at least 1 day before the hearing date.

Although the parties to the case have the right to bring their witnesses without prior notice, however that would still be subjected to getting the court's approval.

One of the most common questions which will be addressed to all witness would be about their nationality, address, relationship with the victim or the accused. They would also inquire if the witnesses had been held in the police stations or the Prosecution before. The court has the right to request for the witnesses' previous statement to be read out loud during the hearing, in case it is contradictory.

If there is a witness hearing in the criminal proceedings, the prosecutors, the victim, the accused and his attorney have the right to address the questions to the witnesses, however, it would be subjected to the approval of the court.

Although it is unlikely to be accepted but both parties, have the right to request, rehearing for the same witness or to request additional witnesses. Witnesses may not be heard together. Each one, usually are heard individually.

Lastly, it important for all witnesses to bring their own ID along before attending the hearings.