criminal law

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December 11, 2019

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"I will Whatsapp you the details", is a commonly used statement as Whatsapp is frequently used online platform compared to any other electronic communication platforms. With a constant increase in the usage of Whatsapp messages in our daily routine, a lot of people have started asking if these messages can be used written evidence before the court of law. Well, Top Lawyers of Dubai affirms the acceptance of Whatsapp messages in the courts of UAE.

The law governing the electronic evidence is Electronic Transactions and Commerce Law Number 2 of 2002 herein mentioned as the Electronic Transactions Law. Wherein, Article 8 of the Electronic Transactions Law stipulates that "where the rules of law require any documentary proof, records or any written information, for whatever reasons, that requirement can be satisfied by obtaining such document, record or information in any electronic form, if the following conditions are met,

a. The record is retained in the original format in which it was sent or received or in a format in which can demonstrate the original message recipient or sender;

b. The information is stored in such a manner that it can be used for further reference."

It is evident from the foregoing provision that the Whatsapp message retained in your mobile device can be utilized as evidence. However, any message transferred from any other electronic device to your mobile device cannot be treated as evidence.

In addition, Article 12 of the Electronic Transactions Law all the contents retained in the electronic device can be utilized as evidence in the courts; the law reads as follows: "Nothing will prevent any electronic transaction from being utilized as proof in the court,

a. Only because the communication or signature was obtained electronically,

b. Only because the signature or communication was not in its original form and if that electronic document is the only best evidence that can be provided by the claimant and was reasonably obtained."

Another significant provision for any commercial dispute between the parties in Article 13 of the Electronic Transactions Law which mentions that "for the purpose of any contract, it is allowed to have any express offer, acceptance through electronic means either partially or wholly.

Further, no contract shall be deemed invalid only on the ground that it was finalized through an electronic communication platform."

Based on the aforesaid provisions, all courts in UAE accepts Whatsapp messages as relevant proof in any proceedings be it criminal, civil, commercial or family disputes between the parties. However, it is pertinent to highlight that these communications shall be printed and translated in Arabic to be deemed accepted in the court as evidence.

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