The oldest truth in the book of jurisprudence, that justice delayed is justice denied, received a fresh boost of power in the decision by Dubai prosecution to fine suspects in certain minor offences rather than refer them to the Dubai Misdemeanours Court to stand trial. The list of minor offences is also worthy of note as it attends to some of the more common lapses in society, which although unlawful acts are nevertheless deserving of a more pragmatic outlook. Bounced cheques (up to Dh200,000), failure to pay for food, car rent or room rent (up to Dh50,000), defamation, attempted suicide and disturbing victims through the use of telecommunications are some of the offences that comprise the list which will, from December 4, incur a fine only. This is a big step in speeding up the judicial system, as in one policy stroke, it has made it easy for the legal system to clear the backlog of minor offences. This will help speed up trials of the more serious pending cases and thereby conserve time, resources and money for litigants. It will also help the cases of tourists charged with minor offences reach a speedy resolution, rather than have them stay back for lengthy durations as their cases await trial. In certain incidents, some tourists had to wait for six months.
The new legal measure is an extremely important factor in heightening Dubai’s international appeal as a progressive, efficient city that seeks to place people’s welfare as a priority. These measures are in complete alignment with Dubai’s aim of transforming itself into one of the most dynamic, efficient and happy cities in the world with world-class facilities, systems and governing policies.