Abu Dhabi Lawyers
Welcome to Abu Dhabi Lawyers, the one stop site for information about Abu Dhabi Lawyers, where to find one and if you need one. We also provide local knowledge of the law and practises and how to find a lawyer in Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi Lawyer information
The Role of the Lawyer
The interdependence of the legal system and citizens is an absolute necessary for the smooth running of a country. However, on the part of the citizens, it is not easy to handle the implications of law in daily life. To connect itself with the citizens of its country, the judiciary assigns the responsibility to Lawyers (also called attorneys) to represent and advice the common man on the complexities of law.
There is a common misconception that lawyers are hired when bad times befall a man. While partly this is true, they also act as advisors to counsel clients on their individual legal rights and obligations and suggest the right course of action relating to business and personal matters.
To round it up all, the Lawyer is a person acting as an unbiased mentor to his client during both good and bad times. As a responsible entity, he assumes a dual role of an advocate and advisor wherein he represents and supports his client.s case in court as well guides them on various laws affecting their professional and personal life.
Do I need a Lawyer?
The need for a Lawyer varies with situation in which the person is. A basic question you need to ask yourself is whether you desire an advocate or an advisor. If you are charged of a crime, duped in a property case, need a divorce or caught in an accident case then obviously the lawyer in charge here will be an advocate who will argue on your behalf in the court of law. Not all Lawyers spend many years of education to fight criminal or litigation cases. There are advisors who provide knowledge and counsel clients before they actually opt to settle their dispute in court.
One must decide if he/she should contact a lawyer without more ado, depending on the immediacies and the graveness of the situation and the role of an attorney in the case.
Introduction to the UAE Legal System
The Roman and French legal systems and Egyptian codes of law heavily inspire the civil law system in UAE. Although Sharia has contributed to the development of law, legislation is treated as the primary source of law. Certain commonly practiced principles of law such as using a precedent, as basis for decisions in similar cases is not recognized in the UAE.s legal system. Only local firms in UAE have the right to appear before a court as a counsel. The booming foreign investment in Abu Dhabi has seen a rise in settlement of disputes outside of court (arbitration).
UAE has its own federal court structure, which the emirates of Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah do not abide by, as these two emirates have constituted their own court systems. The court structure in UAE has categorized itself into three main branches: civil, criminal and Sharia/Islamic courts. Following similar norms and rules, Dubai court structure renames it as The Court of First Instance (Civil Court), The Criminal Court and The Sharia Court.
The Civil Court (Court of First Instance) is first and the largest court where all types of lawsuits are handled. The court delivers judgment on matters ranging from commercial matters to maritime disputes. Opposing parties can challenge the judgment in the Court of Appeal.
Court of Appeal
After judgment is delivered in the Court of First Instance, the party can appeal against it in the Court of Appeal within 30 days with additional evidence and witnesses who are ready to testify. Parties can challenge the judgment of the Court of Appeal in the Court of Cassation (highest court) in Abu Dhabi whose decision is final.
The role of Criminal Court comes into picture only after the crime has undergone the scrutiny of the local police and the prosecution. It is the joint decision of the prosecution and police whether to press charges after investigating the matter.
Sharia or Islamic Court is primarily set up for settling civil and criminal disputes between Muslims. Although they work together with Civil and Criminal Courts, Non-Muslims cannot appear before a Sharia Court in any case. The Sharia Court handles matters relating to child custodies, child abuse divorces, family disputes, inheritances and guardianship of minors. Certain principles from the Islamic textbooks of Sharia are used in judgments when the codified law has made no particular provision relating to the case.
Court of Cassation
The Court of Cassation is the highest court which not only acts as a court of appeal but also guides and ensures that the lower courts are applying the legal guidelines correctly. Other than Emirates of Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah, the Court of Cassation or the Federal Court for other emirates is located in Abu Dhabi.
Basics of Islamic Family Law in UAE
In Islam, the marriage is a legal contract and social union between man and woman. The marriage contract is termed valid when the offer and acceptance by the two eligible (and willing) parties has been made on the same occasion in the attendance of minimum two witnesses.
Divorce even though possible is a little tricky since the judge needs to be fully convinced that no efforts could save the marriage. Sharia Courts in UAE accepts divorce case files from Muslim men and Non-Muslim women married to Muslim men.
UAE takes up custody cases for both local citizens and Non-UAE residents. However, it is necessary that UAE resident and/or a lawyer practicing in the UAE fight the custody case on the party.s behalf. The judgment of case is determined by the parent.s religion, place of permanent residence, income and mother.s marital status. Under Sharia Law, a Muslim mother is granted custody of a girl under the age of nine and of a boy under the age of seven after which it is transferred to the father. If the mother is a Non-Muslim, preference is given to the father.