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UAE Cabinet directs Ministry of Justice, ‘Supreme Judicial Council’ to adopt temporary controls to regulate work of courts

  • UAE News
  • 25 Mar 2020
  • 12:00 AM

The UAE Cabinet directed the Ministry of Justice and the "Supreme Judicial Council" to adopt temporary controls to regulate the work of courts and assess hearings and executive cases for a period of one month, which can be extended to meet emergency conditions. This step is part of the preventive measures to preserve the health of society and the safety of its members in the face of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, as well as to enable UAE citizens and residents to complete their judicial transactions in light of current conditions. The UAE Cabinet’s directive also aims to preserve the health and safety of those working for judicial authorities by postponing cases and appeals that cannot be settled within a period of one month, as well as by assessing expenditures, temporary and urgent matters, smart requests, criminal lawsuits and appeals, including from detainees and prisoners. Exceptions will be made in cases where the law does not require the parties to appear before the Federal Supreme Court, along with cases of expenditures, temporary and urgent matters, smart requests, criminal cases and appeals, and implementation issues related to expense and labour cases. The cabinet also instructed relevant parties to register claims, appeals, grievances and petitions, considering the fact that after the deadline, their registration will not be accepted and their rights will be deemed annulled. The guidance includes making judgements when considering applications, postponing decisions related to debtors and stopping procedures for the executive seizure of movables, real estate, bank accounts, cars, stocks, bonds and commercial licences. The directive also includes postponing evictions in rental cases, preventing debtors from travelling instead of imprisonment, freeing detainees held for civil debts, and all other precautionary measures stipulated by law. These include cases with debts not exceeding AED1 million, with the debtor being given a minimum of three months to pay or settle. If the value exceeds AED1 million and the imprisoned debtor has spent a period of six months in prison, the debtor will be released and the sentence commuted to a travel ban, in addition to all other precautionary measures stipulated by law, with the debtor being given payment or a settlement period of under three months.