Dubai: A new "One Day Misdemeanour Court" will cut waiting time at Dubai courts by 60 per cent, ensure quick verdicts and save government a whopping Dh40 million, officials said on Tuesday.
The new court initiative to be implemented by all police stations in Dubai comes under Penal Order Law No. 1 of 2017 approved by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Tuesday.
During a meeting held at the Dubai Executive Council’s head office at Emirates Towers on Tuesday, Shaikh Mohammad ordered implementing the ‘One Day Misdemeanour Court’ initiative in every police station starting from Wednesday.
It is expected to cut waiting time in Dubai Courts by 60 per cent, quickening the issuance of verdicts and saving the government Dh40 million annually in expenses.
The initiative aims to curtail time required in investigation and prosecution by implementing a verdict in two phases in less than 24 hours.
Shaikh Mohammad stressed that the UAE is a state of institutions and law, possessing a distinguished judicial system that is based on up-to-date mechanisms and systems, and is committed to the independence of all its judicial and security bodies.
He said that this ensures justice for individuals in a record time without impacting the integrity of law.
“The UAE possesses a judicial system that is on a par with global standards that ensures the rights of society, both individuals and organisations, and effectively contributes to achieving the desired goals of strategic plans that sustain the UAE’s competitiveness.
“We have great trust in the judicial body to render highly efficient quick services while fully preserving the sovereignty of law. This assists us in achieving our goals to make procedures faster and easier to complete for people in cases pertaining to minor crimes,” said Shaikh Mohammad.
A pilot project of One Day Court was tried in 2015 involving the Residency and Foreigners’ Affairs, Al Muraqqabat police station, and the Traffic Department.
Lawyer Eisa Bin Haidar described the decision an excellent step towards a better and swifter enforcement of justice.
“Time in Dubai has become a very important and valuable factor. There are loads of criminal cases at Dubai Courts and this decision, inevitably, is a timely one. Actually, it is excellent and will have a positive impact on the adjudication process. It has come to speed up the litigation process and especially in cases involving petty crimes such as drinking alcohol, minor assaults and cheque cases and other cases involving residency and traffic offences,” Bin Haidar told Gulf News.
The main issue with the adjudication process is the time taken for investigations and court dates, according to Bin Haider, who said Shaikh Mohammad’s decision will save people a lot of time and reduce the waiting period for suspects detained pending court dates in such misdemeanour cases.
Dr Ali Galadari, Chief judge of the Dubai Appeal Court, also praised the decision and its timeliness.
“Dubai is a worldwide city and has been booming rapidly. Evidently, this decision will have a positive impact on the adjudication process. With the rapid increase in population and the increase in the number of criminal cases, Shaikh Mohammad’s decision will fast-track justice and ease the strain of the courts and judges. It will also simplify the judicial process for members of the public and speed it up,” said Dr Galadari who welcomed the new decision as a way to deliver swift justice.
“The litigation process in a fast-growing and multicultural city like Dubai has to be accurate for justice to be delivered. Such a decision will reflect on the development of the judicial process and its speed in parallel with the growth of the city,” Dr Galadari told Gulf News
Twenty-one types of cases would be looked into under this in 24 hours due to the existence of the prosecution and court on site.
The Penal Order law is expected to create a qualitative shift in the field of judicial work. Some cases will be directly handled by the Public Prosecution, without referring it to the court through a penal order and by imposing a fine in some of the minor cases.
Types of cases to be handled
By the General Directorate of Residency:
Illegal entry into the country
Returning after deportation
Staying in the country illegally
Working after a ban
By the police station:
Possession of alcoholic beverages
Consuming alcoholic beverages
Giving a cheque with malicious intent
Signing on the back side of the cheque (without sufficient funds)
Failure to pay due fees
By the Traffic Prosecution:
Involvement in an accident that injured someone
Drinking and driving
Attempting to dive under the influence
Possessing alcoholic beverages illegally
Driving a car without a licence
— With inputs by WAM