UAE to give judiciary greater autonomy

The UAE is set to give its judicial authority greater autonomy to ensure justice for all under a draft law for constitutional amendments involving the appointment of President HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan as head of the judiciary.

The Federal National Council (FNC), the country’s parliament, endorsed the draft law at a close-door session on Tuesday following a debate attended by representatives of relevant government departments, Emirat Alyoum daily said.

Quoting legal sources, the Arabic language newspaper said the bill, to become federal law shortly, means that Sheikh Khalifa would replace the Minister of Justice as chairman of the judicial authority.

“The constitutional amendments will be announced soon…this is a bold and advanced step to be taken by the UAE as it will give a strong boost to the country’s judicial authority,” the paper quoted a source as saying.

“These amendments will of course ensure more autonomy for the judicial system and this will ultimately benefit all citizens.”

The sources noted that most countries enforce a judicial system based on separation between the three main authorities in the state, adding that there are currently five key authorities in the UAE, including the judiciary.

“Excluding the Minister of Justice will ensure a greater autonomy for the judicial system because the Minister is a member of the federal government, which is a separate executive authority,” a source said.