One of the main goals which the UAE strives to achieve is the protection and taking care of the juveniles.
In this connection, the UAE issued the Federal Law No. 9 of 1976 Concerning Juvenile Delinquents and Vagrants (Juvenile Law).
Under the Juvenile Law, a juvenile is defined as an individual who did not complete the age of eighteen at the time of commission of the crime. The age of the individual is to be proved through official documents.
Criminal Prosecution Against Juveniles
According to Article 6 of the Juvenile Law, criminal prosecution will not be instituted against a juvenile who has not completed the age of seven, however, the court or the competent authorities may order, under all circumstances, to take the suitable educational or treatment measures, if necessary.
If the juvenile who has completed the age of seven but not reached the age of sixteen, has committed a crime, then the judge will order to take the measures deemed adequate. This is provided under Article 7 of the Juvenile Law.
Further, a juvenile who has completed the age of 16 and has committed a crime, instead of the penalties prescribed under law, the judge may measures stipulated in the Juvenile Law.
It is also important to note that a juvenile may not be given capital sentence, imprisonment or pecuniary punishments under Article 9 of the Juvenile. Where juvenile can be punished with criminal sanction, then the capital punishment or the imprisonment will be substituted by detention for maximum 10 years.
The provisions related to repeat offence does not apply to the juvenile under Article 11 of the Juvenile Law.
What are the Measures that can be taken against the Juvenile?
Article 15 of the Juvenile Law sets outs the measures that can be taken in respect of the juvenile. These include:
- Rebuking the juvenile. Rebuke is to scold and discipline the juvenile during the session and to urge him to behave in good conduct (Article 16).
- Handing him over. The juvenile must be handed over to one of his parents or to his tutor. If none of them has the capacity to educate him, he shall be handed over to a member of his family of full capacity (Article 17).
- Putting the juvenile under judicial supervision. In cases where the juvenile is sentenced to detention, the judge may order to stay rendering the condemning judgment for a period not less than one year and not more than three with putting the juvenile under the supervision and under the restrictions required for a judicial testing. If the juvenile pass successfully the test period, then the lawsuit shall be considered as if never filed. Otherwise he shall be put on trial according to the provisions of this law (Article 18).
- Prohibiting the juvenile to visit specific places. The court may prevent the juvenile from frequenting places if it is established that these places have an influence on his delinquency or vagrancy (Article 19)
- Interdiction of performing a specific work. The court may prohibit the juvenile from practicing specific works if it is established that his delinquency or vagrancy is attributed to practicing these works (Article 20).
- Compelling him to undergo professional training. The obligation of vocational training shall be through the court entrusting the juvenile to governmental vocational training centers, to one of the factories, trading points or farms that accept his rehabilitation all this during a period not exceeding three years (Article 21).
- Confining in a treatment asylum, rehabilitation institute educational home therapeutic shelter, rehabilitation institute, educational house or reformation institute, as the case may be. If the court believes that the delinquency or the vagrancy of the juvenile is attributed to a mental disease, it will order to put him in a treatment asylum or a specialized health institute until full recovery. The court shall, thereafter, order the release of the juvenile on basis of the report of the physicians supervising his therapy (Article 22). It may also order for treating the juvenile at a rehabilitation center.
- Deportation outside the country. If the juvenile is a non-citizen, the court may order his deportation of the country. Deportation is necessary if the juvenile returns to one of the states of vagrancy or delinquency. The deportation judgment will be executed within two weeks from the date of its issue (Article 24).
The juvenile may be subjected to one or more than the measures set out above.
The above information might not apply if both parties are non-muslim. Starting from the 1st of February 2023, UAE issued specific family law to be applied between non-muslim expatriate residents in case none of them wanted to apply his/her home country's law in the UAE. To know more information about this law, please feel free to click this link.