criminal law


November 27, 2019



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It seems like every other morning, unless, your social media platform was overnight filled with defamatory remarks and comments, not being true. Obviously, you are an immediate victim of defamation through the online platform.

In this internet era, where every other individual is available on social media websites watching others activity like a hawk, it is arduous to remove something posted online. Unfortunately, some individuals consider this platform a way to ruin others reputation causing significant damages. Criminal Lawyers of Abu Dhabi have scrutinized the definition of Defamation as an illegal act committed by spreading false information about an individual which may tarnish his reputation before friends and family and if against any business it may cause serious financial loss as well.

The Internet is a boon or bane that is indeed a very wide topic to discuss wherein; online defamation is undeniably a disadvantage. Now rather than moving ahead with your daily routine, you are stuck with innumerable legal questions, for instance, whether or not to take any legal action, what consequences the defendant might face, can you claim compensation for the damages caused and it is a non-exhaustive list of queries. Nevertheless, should you wish to understand the legalities surrounding defamation, reach out to Best Lawyers of Dubai for assistance.

UAE Criminal Laws against Defamation

Undoubtedly, the Criminal Laws of UAE are so stringent and vigorous that any anonymous comment on any social media platform will open gates for varied criminal charges against the alleged. Pertinently, the UAE government have developed technical systems to ascertain and scrap out the details of the individuals hiding behind his bright screen defaming innocent people. Lately, we have witnessed an enormous growth in defamatory cases against individuals, known or unknown in our region, mostly on online websites.

Federal Law number 3 of 1987 regarding Criminal Law of UAE imposes criminal penalties on alleged offenders of defamation. Article 372 and Article 373 of the criminal law specifically deals with the defamation charges. Chapter VI of the Criminal Law provides for crimes against reputation, libel or abuse and disclosure of secrets. Consequently, Article 372 of the Criminal Law states as follows:

Whoever attributes to another person, by any means of publicity, an incident which makes him liable to punishment or contempt, shall be punished by detention for a period not exceeding two years or by fine not exceeding twenty thousand Dirhams.

Furthermore, the article states that if the libel is committed against any public official who is in charge of public service, it will be observed that the libel was intended with an illegal purpose. Also, any libel by any means of publication shall be considered as aggravating circumstances.

On the other hand, Article 373 imposes detention for a maximum period of one year and a fine not exceeding ten thousand Dirhams, who will disgrace the honour or modesty of another person by any means of publication without attributing any particular act to the defamed party. Similarly, the fine and detention period shall increase if the defamation was against any public official.

Analyzing the aforementioned articles, it is pertinent for our readers to note that any complaint about defamation shall always possess the following constituents:

a. A statement which is false and defamatory;

b. The statement was mentioned before the third party in any form;

c. The statement had an adverse impact on the complaints life.

Penalties under Cybercrime Law

In accordance with Federal Law, Number 2 of 2012 (the Cybercrime Law), any remark which is considered as defamation made on social media or via any other means of IT device will be termed as an offence and gross violation of Cybercrime Law. Further, Article 20 of the Cybercrime Law forbids individuals to insult others or pass any comments using any computer network or IT Device; else they will be prosecuted before relevant court. It is additionally precluded under Article 39 of the Cyber Crime law for any owner of any website or IT network to store or give unlawful substance, on the off chance that they know about the illicit substance. This implies website and can likewise be held at responsible for improper posts by individuals. A fine of maximum AED 500,000 can be imposed on whoever violates the Article of 20 of the Cybercrime Law along with deportation order.

Be Aware!

Defamation is a criminal offence under the Criminal Law of UAE, and on the off chance that it happens by using IT device the punishments under the Cyber Crime Law can be much extreme. People should scrutinize the menace attached to such criminal activity which might be interpreted as disparaging or annoying and ought to know that comments against religion, public officers, or relating to personal life, will in general draw in higher punishments.

We suggest employers revise and update any web utilization arrangements to explicitly allude to social media websites and should educate the employees regarding the repercussions of such acts.

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