Month: September 2017

child-blog

Child Protection Law of UAE

New laws were introduced to the UAE in June 2016 relating to the abuse of children and protection of childrens rights. For the first time, individuals responsible for the care of a child were made accountable for their actions and the safety of the children under their care.

The law is often referred to as Wadeema’s Law in memory of the late young Emirati girl who died as a result of the type of abuse the legislation was put in place to prevent.

Two child protection centers have been set up in Dubai whereas in Abu Dhabi, social workers are made available at the child affairs prosecution service to assist in cases related to children. They have the authority to remove a child if their life is in danger.

There is a hotline number to call to report incidents involving possible abuse of a child. You can call 116111 to register a complaint or concern of this matter.

If a parent reports child abuse, they will be connected to a lawyer for free advice whereas, if a child reports a case, action will be taken against those taking care of the child. The punishment for abusing or mistreating a child may vary from financial measures such as a fine or possibly jail.

As a general guide, the penalty for serious offences relating to child abuse can typically be a fine of Dh50,000 and 10 years in jail.

Local officials are already trying to persuade schools to hire specialist child psychologists and hospitals are being urged to implement a suitable reporting structure. This will help doctors and teachers recognize the signs of child abuse which many children suffer in silence and assist them in knowing the correct actions to follow.

traffic-blog

New Traffic Offence Laws in the UAE

Traffic laws were amended in July this year with the intention of increasing road safety and reducing accidents caused by driver error. This entailed the addition of some new rules and regulations which if broken will be considered a criminal offence. The 17 new traffic offence laws are as follows,

1- Maximum allowed limit for window tinting is set at 50%
2- Using a privately registered vehicle for commercial use is an offence
3- Violent or abrupt changing of lanes (swerving) can attract a fine
4- Three wheeled vehicle or quad bikes are not allowed in the public highways and can lead to a fine and vehicle confiscation
5- All children under the age of 4 must be secured in a child car seat
6- Noisy vehicles (by modification or by lack of maintenance) can attract a fine
7- Failure to register your vehicle and have valid insurance is punishable by a fine and vehicle seizure
8- Ignoring or jumping traffic signals will get you a fine and confiscation of the vehicle
9- Overloading a vehicle beyond its passenger capacity can lead to a fine
10- Failure to collect your vehicle after seizure will attract further fines
11- Tailgating. Leave a safe distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you.
12- Fine and confiscation for reckless and careless driving
13- Fine and confiscation of vehicle for driving with damaged or unsafe tires.
14- All occupants of a vehicle must wear a seat belt (in the front and rear of the vehicle)
15- There is a fine for using a cell phone while driving. This applies to calls and texts.
16- Speeding which includes exceeding the defined limits can incur a fine and possible confiscation of the vehicle
17- Zero tolerance for driving under the influence of alcohol, there is a fine and a jail term including confiscation of your vehicle

accident-blog

Accident Injury in UAE

Road accidents can be a harrowing experience for anyone and is likely to result in some form of injury ranging from minor to very serious or even death. UAE Law does make provision for an injured party to make a compensation claim provided the accident was not their fault.

Where an accident happens while commuting by a taxi or bus, the injured party can claim compensation for personal injury from the insurance company that is covering the vehicle operator. Psychological or emotional damage and stress cannot be reversed as such but claiming compensation could ease the burden to some degree and assist in recovery.

Generally the victim may claim for,
1- Property damages
2- Medical expenses
3- Moral loss

The amount or value of ‘damages’ a person sustains will be calculated based on the intensity of the harm caused and extent of the other persons (usually the driver or vehicle operator) role in causing that damage. The damages may include destruction damage or loss of clothing, jewelry, or any other property of the victim lost and, moral harm (often referred to as psychological or emotional damages).

The amount to be recovered from damage varies on the basis of,
1- Medical expense incurred
2- Victims income
3- The Victims Age
4- Severity of injuries sustained and moral damage

Road accidents being considered by the court for compensation claims are made up of 3 constituents, the fault, the damage and the connection between them. In general, there is not a pattern or set calculation to follow for the recovery of such losses. Discretionary power has been given to court to decide on these matters in reaching judgement on the claim.

dispute-blog

Business Disputes in the UAE

Commercial disputes between companies, companies and customers or even between partners can cause a great deal of distress. They can also , in some instances lead to loss of valuable time, lost business and even bring about the collapse of a business venture in its entirety. Generally, amicable settlement of such a dispute would be beneficial to all parties in its speed and efficiency, even when at times it feels like a compromise you may not want to make. Understanding the ‘bigger picture’ and the potential damage of a protracted dispute is often much clearer in hindsight (when it’s too late). To that end, below is the list of top tips to help resolve a dispute:

a) Gather as much evidence as you can through witness statements in the initial stages; don’t forget, the people involved may be expats and may not be around later to provide the supporting evidence required. Such evidence is useful in determining the events of a situation but may not be necessarily favoured for use in court where evidence of fact carries more weight (contracts and breaches of contract terms). Such evidence though is very useful in assisting yor legal counsel to effectively drafting each memorandum (the submissions made to court for a case).

b) Try to negotiate with the other party/ies and have a strategy for what you would like to achieve from the discussions. If in your communications a response is requested by email within a certain period, try and follow that to avoid adding complications to the situation that detract from the main issues. Stay on topic. You are attempting to resolve the situation rather than create new argumenets or debates.

c) The dispute should be managed by one person from the company, as the central point of contact and the person responsible for taking the required actions. This helps reduce the risk of contradiction or confusion that can easily come about from the different interpretations of the same information that are often present. This also helps to keep the correct focus on what you are looking to achieve and will assist with a clear and clean hand-over to your lawyers should they need to become involved.

d) If you need to extract evidence from a company asset (computer, laptop or smart phone for example) it is adviseable to seek professional help to recover it. This limits the risk of not only losing the information but also the risk of suggesting the information has been manipulated or tampered with.

e) It seems an obvious point but one that is all too frequently ignored. Always read and understand every element of a document before you sign your name to it (particularly if it is not in your first language). By signing, you are agreeing to the content which may bind you personaly and or the company you represent to actions and liabilities.

f) Although many legal documents in the UAE will have this phrase as a point of ‘best practice’, it does not carry the same legal authority in the UAE system. Without Prejudice is used in negotiations in other countries to ensure concessions made or information shared during negotiation cannot be used against you if a case goes to court as specific evidence. It can be used against you in the UAE regardless of whether the term was used.

g) UAE law favors documentary proof over and above oral (spoken) statements. There is no dramatic court room cross examination as seen in the movies, cases in the UAE are largely fought to a written strategy where the power, structure and content of the legal argument in writing will have the biggest influence on the outcome.

h) When terminating a contract, seek professional legal advice. There are often elements that can remain open for interpretation or action should this not be done in a way that actually closes the contract obligations between the parties. Obvious examples would include specified warranty periods or retention payments that may exist after the contact termination.

i) If you are going to need the support of good lawyers, get them involved as early as possible. Experience in dealing with these matters can avoid costly delays and the possibility of saying or writing the wrong thing that can alter the course of the negotiation and impact the liability to which a party is held. Delaying can also cost you more as there may be significant extra work to repair the damage done before bringing in the experts.