UAE Criminal Law Pretrial Imprisonment Order .pdf
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Pretrial Imprisonment Order
Legal Articles: UAE Criminal Law
By Mr. Hassan Elhais ‐ Legal Consultant in Dubai
The Public Prosecution, ordinarily, has a discretionary power to issue the pretrial imprisonment order
unless there is a special case described in different regulations and provisions.
After questioning the accused, the Public Prosecution member may issue a pretrial imprisonment
order, if he or she is of the opinion that the evidence is satisfactory and the deed is a felony or crime
that is punished and penalized by other than a fine.
Such pretrial imprisonment orders shall include the name of the accused, his or her title, nationality,
occupation, residence, charges and allegations, date of the order, location and time of appearance
or attendance, name and signature of the public prosecution member, and it has to be stamped by
the official seal.
One of the most common and collective questions which we receive is "Does the Public Prosecution
have the right to put the prisoners in separate cells so as to prevent any contact between the
detainees and other individuals?"
The answer to that is, even though it is very unlikely to take place and personally I did not
experience or see this in any of the cases undertaken by us but Article No.109 of Federal Law No.
(35) Of 1992 gives the Public Prosecution the right to preclude such interaction between a detainee
and other individuals but without prejudice to any right of the accused to meet and interact with his
Amongst many other questions that we receive about the detention, most are concerned with the
time period of the pretrial imprisonment or for how long it shall be effective.
Our observation leads us to respond that the pretrial imprisonment could continue to be effective for
as long as the investigation is ongoing. However, the law that contributes to the security of the
detainee, ensures that each judicial authority has a perimeter to their power to issue the pretrial
For instance, the first pretrial imprisonment order issued by the Public Prosecution shall not be more
than seven days, which could be extended for an additional two weeks. If the two weeks expire and
the Public Prosecution believes that it is in the best interest of justice and the investigation to prolong
the detention period, they might lengthen it for a further period. Henceforth, the matter has to be
referred to one of the criminal court judges, who shall review the file and request for the attendance
of the accused. The judge would then listen to the argument put forward by the accused and acquire
his statement. Subsequently, the judge would then make a decision on the extension of the
detention, for a period not exceeding 30 days renewable, or to release him on bail.
The judge could also decide to release him temporary until the investigation is over and this is one of
the most confusing and perplexing points for non-legal individuals. The reason being, while the
accused is under detention, they often find themselves being transferred with no pre-notice, to the
judge where they are questioned about their cases. That is why taking legal assistance at the
earliest is advised. However, the judge during the stage of the investigation process is not the
authorized to decide whether to accept or dismiss the charges.
Nevertheless, it is imperative to mention here that be Public Prosecution has the right to close the
case and dismiss the charges during the criminal investigation phase, where they discover and
conclude that the evidence is not sufficient or there has been no occurrence of law breaking.
So, in other words, during the investigation stage, only be Public Prosecution has the power to make
such decisions but not the judge.
However, if the case has been transferred to the criminal court, the Public Prosecution will have no
power to dismiss the case anymore and the entire discretionary power would then be transferred to
the criminal court judge.
Disclaimer: This article comprises broad and general information about legal materials. The material
is general advice and not legal advice, and should not be treated as such. The legal information in
this article is provided is extracted from the UAE Criminal Procedures Law Federal Law No. (35) Of
the Year 1992 and based on our experiences as a law firm. The information provided are only
guidelines. You should certainly not postpone pursuing legal advice, ignore legal advice, or begin or
suspend any legal action because of information provided in this article. You must not rely on the
information in this article as a substitute to legal counsel from your attorney or any other practiced
professional legal services provider.This information is drafted by licensed legal practitioner and sent
from Al Rowaad Advocates & Legal Consultants which is duly licensed law firm to practice law under
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Hassan Elhais
After qualifying as a lawyer in his native Egypt and years of successful practice within the field
of criminal and public law, Mr. Elhais moved to Dubai in 2005 and has been practicing as a legal
consultant in Dubai since then. Working exclusively with Al Rowaad Advocates, Hassan is an
effective leader of the company, the spokesperson and driving force. Hassan has a strong
ethical stance with regards to the place of the law firm and its work on behalf of the client,
from clarity on the legal process through to the fee system.
Specializing in the drafting of all statement of claim, memos and consultation with regards to all
kind of litigation, Hassan has worked his way through the ranks of Al Rowaad Advocates from
joining as Legal Advisor to his current role as Managing Partner. Member of Egypt Bar
Association; Member of International Bar Association; and Recommended Lawyer of Embassy
of United States in Abu Dhabi.
Copyright Hassan Elhais
For more information about Hassan Elhais – Legal Consultant in Dubai