x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

GCC justice officials approve new laws

Two laws proposed by the UAE have already been approved: a law against cyber crimes and a law for family courts.

ABU DHABI // The unrest in Bahrain is "officially over" thanks to the help of fellow GCC countries, a top official from that country told a meeting of GCC justice officials at a discussion of new mutual legislation and procedures yesterday.

Judge Khalid Ajaji, the head of the Bahraini delegation, said his country was anticipating an investigative committee's report on the crisis tomorrow. He said its findings were still a mystery, as the committee was completely independent.

"Our meeting is being held under extremely rapid and complicated international and regional developments which influence our justice and legal system," the UAE Minister of Justice, Dr Hadef bin Jua'an Al Dhaheri, said in his opening speech. "This requires us to re-look into many aspects of it."

The focus should be on making sure laws catch up to the economic and technological landscape, he said.

"We need to realise as ministers of justice that we need to speed up amending our laws in order to keep up with economic events and crises," he said.

Among the measures to be approved is a prisoner-exchange agreement among GCC countries and other nations. Proposed by Kuwait at a previous meeting, it means that, for instance, if Kuwait wanted to trade a prisoner for one of their own citizens being held in India, but does not have any Indian prisoners, they could use an Indian from Qatar.

Other issues included a guidance law for children's rights across GCC, a guide for lawyers' jobs and a project to have a unified judicial authority law.

Two laws proposed by the UAE have already been approved: a unified law against cyber crimes and a law for family courts. The minister could not provide any more details on those two laws and what they would add to current procedures in those areas.

Final approval and recommendations will be announced today.

hdajani@thenational.ae