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UAE Introducing New Criminal Code as Part of Large-scale Legal Reform
The Dubai Fountain in downtown Dubai, UAE, Feb. 19, 2012. (Nealt/WIkimedia Commons)

UAE Introducing New Criminal Code as Part of Large-scale Legal Reform

The United Arab Emirates will introduce a new criminal code as part of a large-scale legal reform. Some 40 laws will change this year, with some coming into effect from January 2, 2022.

A new Federal Crime and Punishment Law will tighten laws to protect women, domestic staff and public safety. Other laws that will be strengthened or changed deal with commercial companies, online security, trade, copyright, residency, narcotics and social issues, Reuters reported.

Changes that already have been made include laws decriminalizing premarital sexual relations and alcohol consumption, and canceling provisions for leniency when dealing with so-called “honor killings.” Further changes announced over the weekend include recognizing children born out of wedlock and requiring parents to acknowledge and care for them, with a two-year prison sentence for parents who do not. Another change is the issuing of long-term visas, an effort to encourage new business ventures.

“Teams comprising 540 specialists and experts from 50 federal and local authorities have worked together over the past five months in consultation with over 100 private sector organizations in order to reflect global best practice in the new legal provisions,” the country’s state news agency WAM reported.

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