The civil law system in the UAE draws its roots from French and Roman legal traditions. Unlike common law systems that rely heavily on precedents, civil law is primarily codified, with laws and regulations clearly written down. The fundamental source of civil law in the UAE is the Federal Law, which consists of various codes and statutes governing different legal matters.
A. Civil Transactions Code (Law No. 5 of 1985): This code governs the majority of civil transactions, including contracts, property, and family matters. It outlines the rights and obligations of individuals and entities involved in various legal arrangements.
B. Personal Status Law: UAE residents, both nationals and expatriates, are subject to personal status laws based on their religion. Islamic law (Sharia) applies to Muslims, while non-Muslims can choose the laws of their home country to govern family matters like marriage, divorce, and inheritance.
C. Commercial Transactions Code: This code regulates business and commercial activities, providing guidelines for establishing companies, commercial contracts, and dispute resolution in commercial matters.
D. Civil Procedure Law: This law governs the procedures for resolving civil disputes, outlining the steps to be followed in civil courts.
The UAE has a dual court system consisting of federal and local courts. The federal courts deal with matters concerning federal laws and disputes between emirates, while local courts handle civil cases related to individual emirates’ laws. The judicial system in the UAE is independent and follows due process, ensuring fair trials and access to justice for all.