- Legal Articles
- Ask Elhais
January 08, 2020|
An amendment to the penal code protects direct relatives of Emiratis from being deported from the country after being convicted of a crime
Residents married to Emiratis can no longer be deported if convicted of a crime, following an amendment to the UAE's federal laws.
Previously, a deportation order was mandatory in cases where an expatriate was convicted of a crime and sentenced by a court. Details of the change, approved by President Sheikh Khalifa late last year, have just been revealed.
The change stipulated that a resident may not be sentenced to deportation if they are married to or are an immediately family member of an Emirati citizen, unless the judgment is issued in a crime endangering the national security of the country.
Legal experts said the change would stop mixed families from being permanently broken up by even minor crimes, such as physical assault.
Legal consultant Dr Hassan Elhais, who writes a column for The National, said deportation should be upheld when the criminal poses a grave danger to society but it may be too harsh a response in cases of minor offences.
"Deportation can have a negative impact not only on individuals who are deported, but also their families, who they are forced to leave behind," said Dr Elhais, of Al Rowaad Advocates.
"Some of the people who have been expelled have lived in the country for over a decade. They are parents or caregivers but with the change in the law, we will see less of them leaving the UAE."
Emirati lawyer, Awatif Khouri said the amendment and the recently issued family protection law, shows the intent of the government when it comes to protecting families.
"According to this law, an Emirati woman married to an expatriate can protect him and their children from being deported, if they are convicted of any crime except the ones related to national security," said Ms Awatif.
Judge Ahmed Saif, head of the Dubai Civil Court and former head of the criminal courts, welcomed the changes, saying that judges had no option but to handout deportation sentences in several cases, even if they perceived it to be too harsh.
"This is a great change to the law, which is completely consistent with the country's call for tolerance," he said.
"Deporting a person away from his Emirati spouse or a son away from his Emirati mother, affects the entire family in what would sometimes be a simple issue. If we preserve the unity of a family, we naturally preserve the community."
He said he had presided over many cases where an immediate family member of an Emirati was deported.
"With this change to the law, we can clearly see how the country is keen on [taking all] necessary [steps] to protect the entity of the family," he said. The UAE passed several laws in 2019 to protect families and victims of domestic violence. These legal changes strengthen the country's Family Protection Policy. New jail terms and restraining orders were introduced to tackle domestic violence and protect families from intimidation and threats.
A sexual harassment charge was also added to federal law last month, building on an existing charge of "breaching the modesty of a woman".
The new charge expands the legal definition of sexual harassment to include repetitive harassment through action, words or even signs that aim to coax the recipient into responding to the offender's sexual desires. The charge also recognises men as victims of sexual harassment.
Similarly, the country downgraded 28 crimes - including insults, animal abuse and traffic offences - meaning they can be punished with fines rather than having to be heard in court, reducing the workload of courtrooms.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
I owe the success of my case to Dr. Hassan's diligent approach. He remained focused, put me at ease and always went the extra mile. Dr. Hassan tirelessly put my case in the best possible light and I cannot thank him enough. I would highly recommend Dr. Hassan - I am grateful to him from the bottom of my heart.
Dr. Hassan Elhais is among the best legal consultants I have ever worked with. He has an amazing ability to reduce complex issues into a simple concept that non-legal people can understand. He consistently develops innovative litigation strategies that help us to achieve our ultimate legal goals.
...the extraordinary effort that has been exerted by the staff, and we specially thank Dr. Hassan Mohsen Alhais. Wishing your continues success & excellence...
I believe everyone should recognize what a difference Dr. Hassan Elhais work has made to people's lives; and especially to our family's life, because we will remain forever grateful to each and every one of his team.
Dr. Hassan Elhais never fears cases that involve exposure and he always gives me his honest assessment of our chances of success, which is invaluable to me.
He aided us not only in providing legal advice but also in all legal issues that required a long term strategic approach to achieve most favorable and optimum outcomes he provided us with high level of professional service.
Dr. Hassan Elhais is a responsible, reputable counsel who operates to high levels of service.
Dr Hassan Elhais is responsive, thorough and creative with his advice, and is a valued advisor and legal consultant.
Regardless of the complexity of the matter I know Dr. Hassan Elhais will consider not only legal strategy but also business practicalities in providing advice and litigation options.
I recommend Dr. Hassan Elhais to anyone who says 'I'm in legal trouble'. I was extremely satisfied with the high standard of his work. He has always been there when I have needed him and I refer all my clients, family and friends to him/his firm.
Dr. Hassan Elhais was very professional and he listened to my needs. He was very prompt, efficient and always kept me informed. Dr. Hassan Elhais's service was excellent and I would definitely recommend him to friends and colleagues.