criminal law

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June 06, 2020

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Protecting those with special needs: strict COVID penalties in force

The law says that the offender's prison term can be doubled if the offence is repeated.

A care provider who causes Covid-19 infection to a special needs person, intentionally or due to negligence, could face up to five years in prison and/or fined up to Dh100,000, according to the UAE laws.

"Besides all forms of support the country extends to people of determination, the UAE law protects their rights under the current circumstances," pointed out Dr Hassan Elhais, legal consultant in Dubai with Al Rowaad Advocates.

He said the country's law on communicable diseases, which came into effect six years ago, criminalises any intentional behaviour that results in spreading infections among all community members.

"People of determination are, of course, included under the protection of this law and other laws as well," he added.

"Those who are entrusted with the task of caring for people of determination may face up to five years in prison and/or a fine of not less than Dh50,000 and not more than Dh100,000 if they intentionally or due to negligence cause infections to them," said Dr. Elhais.

"The law says that the offender's prison term can be doubled if the offence is repeated," he underlined.

He pointed out that if the infection causes the death of the special needs person, the offender would be prosecuted according to two laws namely the law on communicable diseases, as well as the country's penal code.

"The offender would be charged with intentionally infecting the special needs person and additionally with causing his wrongful death," Dr. Elhais said. The punishment as per Article 342 of UAE Penal Code for causing wrongful death is up to three years in prison.


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