The UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has issued a number of special federal laws, including one amending Federal Law No. 45/1992 pertaining to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and one on regulating of the competencies of the National Media Council.
Sheikh Khalifa also issued federal laws on combating cybercrimes and judicial fees at federal courts.
Information Technology Crimes
Sheikh Khalifa also issued Federal Law No. 12/2016 amending Federal Law No. 5/2012 on combating information technology crimes.
Article 1 provides for replacing the text of Article 9 of Federal Law No. 9/2012 as follows:
Whoever uses a fraudulent computer network protocol address (IP address) by using a false address or a third-party address by any other means for the purpose of committing a crime or preventing its discovery, shall be punished by temporary imprisonment and a fine of no less than Dh500,000 and not exceeding Dh2,000,000, or either of these two penalties.
Article 2 of the law states that the law shall be published in the Official ‘Gazette’ and shall come into effect the day following publication.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Federal Law No. 10/2016 amends some of the provisions of Federal Law No. 45/1992 on regulating the work of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The first article of the law, published in the latest issue of the Official ‘Gazette’, changes the text of Clause 10 of Article 2 of Federal Law No. 45/1992 and replaces it with the following text:
Issuance and renewal of diplomatic and special passports for nationals of the state as well as service passports. Specifying the eligible groups (of people) and rules for issuing these passports as an exception from the provisions of Federal Law No. 17/1972 on naturalisation and passports and amendments. A diplomatic or special passport is given to groups of people, who are not specified in the previous clause, excluding their families, and by virtue of a decision made by the President or the Vice-President of the State, based on a proposal from the Foreign Minister.
Article 2 states that each and any provision that contradicts the provisions of this law shall be abolished.
Article 3 provides for the publication of this law in the Official Gazette and that it will come into effect the day after publication.
National Media Council
Sheikh Khalifa also issued Federal Law No. 11/ 2016 regulating the competencies of the National Media Council.
According to the law, the National Media Council is the federal government body established to oversee and undertake the media affairs of the United Arab Emirates. It has corporate character, an independent budget and the legal capacity required to undertake all activities to ensure achievement of its goals. It is a government body affiliated with the Cabinet and shall have its seat in Abu Dhabi City. The Council may set up branches and offices inside and outside the UAE.
Article 4 of the law states the objectives of the NMC and accordingly it shall develop the UAE's media policy, draft media legislation and ensure its execution and co-ordinate the media policy between the emirates, in line with the UAE's domestic and foreign policy to ensure support for the Federation of the UAE and project national unity.
Article 5 states the NMC's scope of jurisdiction which includes the following:
Developing and executing the required policies and plans to develop the media sector; proposing bills and regulations relating to the work of the Council in coordination with the relevant authorities in the country; proposing regulations, standards and foundations required for licensing and accrediting media outlets and their staff and activities, including e-publishing; issuing rules and regulations that ensure the achievement of the Council's goals in line with the controls it specifies; coordinating with the authorities of media free zones on developing an organisational framework to regulate the Council's relationship with these zones; representing the UAE at media meetings, events and activities in and outside the UAE; undertaking any other relevant responsibilities specified by the Cabinet's regulations and resolutions.
Article 6 states that a Board of Directors, formed by virtue of a decision issued by the Cabinet, shall run the Council.
Article 7 states that the Board of Directors is the supreme authority of the Council and shall accordingly exercise all its powers and the required authority. It may develop the Council's general policy, propose amendments to the required plans and follow up the plans for their execution, propose draft regulations pertaining to the work and competencies of the Council as well as to the achievement of its objectives and submitting the same to the Cabinet for approval as well as the preparing of a draft organisational structure for the Council, specifying the responsibilities and competencies and departments of the Council, and submit the same to the Cabinet for approval, propose a draft annual budget for the Council and a draft annual closing account in addition to any other competencies delegated to the Board by the laws, regulations and resolutions issued by the Cabinet. The Board may also delegate some of its competencies to its Chairman.
According to the law, the Chairman of the National Media Council is responsible for overseeing the management of the Council for all aspects in line with the provisions of the Council's effective regulations. The Council shall have a director general, to be appointed by virtue of a federal law based on a proposal from the Chairman, who will be the legal representative of the Council. The Board of Directors shall issue a decision specifying the Chairman's competencies and jurisdiction.
Article 10, a clause about the standards and regulations issued by the Council, states that media organisations in the state must comply with the regulations and rules issued by the Council, as well as commit themselves to provide information and data required by the Council to achieve its objectives.
Article 11 states that the fiscal year of the Council shall start on the 1st of January and ends on the 31st of December every year.
According to the law, regulations and decisions which are effective in the National Media Council shall remain enforced at the time of issuance of the law without conflict with its provisions.
The law shall be published in the Official ‘Gazette’ and will come into effect the day following publication.