ABU DHABI // This year has been a busy one for the emirate's courts, the judges ruling on everything from domestic disputes to murder.
Next year will undoubtedly mean more of the same, with several high-profile cases due to be concluded.
One of the biggest this year has been that of the South African professor Cyril Karabus, who has been charged with the manslaughter of a three-year-old Yemeni girl in 2002.
Prosecutors say he failed to give her a blood transfusion, and that he forged a report to make it look as though he had.
The trial has attracted attention from media and medical associations worldwide since it began at the Criminal Court a few months ago.
The professor was arrested at Dubai Airport while on his way to Australia to attend his son's wedding. He was first charged in absentia in 2003 with causing the girl's death and with covering up his mistake.
The professor pleaded not guilty and requested that the patient's hospital file be presented to prove he did order the transfusion.
The hospital has so far failed to provide the information, arguing that doing so is against its policy.
A copy of the hospital file provided to the professor and his defence team is blank on the relevant dates.
This has resulted in a deadlock in the trial, while the court awaits both files and the response of a medical committee assigned to look into the case. The trial - and the international attention it has attracted - will now linger into next year.
Any conviction would need to pass through both the Appeals Court and the Court of Cassation.
Another major case next year is likely to be that of 60 Emirati Islamists linked to the UAE's branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Islah.
The group, which saw the bulk of its members arrested in Ras Al Khaimah in July, is charged with breaching Article 180 of the penal code, which bans the formation of any political organisation or any organisation that compromises the security of the state. They are also charged with having connections with foreign bodies to harm the political leadership.
The Appeals Court is expected to issue a verdict next year over the death sentence issued to a 25-year-old Briton and a 19-year-old Syrian for dealing marijuana.
It is not unusual for judges to pass capital punishment sentences to drug dealers, but court history shows a drug-dealing death penalty has never been upheld through the Appeal and Cassation Courts.
In many cases, a life sentence is handed down instead.
By law, any death sentence issued by the Criminal Court should pass through the Appeal and Cassation Courts before it is sent to the President for final approval.
Aside from ruling on cases, the judicial department's goal next year is to spread awareness of legal matters to all UAE residents and visitors.
Airports will have information about the country's laws and offer advice on matters such as dress codes, showing affection in public and drinking alcohol.
The judiciary also aims to strengthen its presence at juvenile correction centres and women's groups.
Labourers will be educated about their legal rights and what to do should those rights be breached.