The witnesses have to be invited to attend the hearing on the
basis of a request from one of the parties. After the approval of
the court. The official notice will have to be sent at least 1 day
before the hearing date.
Although the parties to the case have the right to bring their
witnesses without prior notice, however that would still be
subjected to getting the court's approval.
If the court requests to hear the statement of one of the
witnesses, it has the right to ensure their attendance by issuing a
warrant order, if the court finds it to be necessary. The court has
another discretionary power, to charge the witnesses for not
attending the hearing. However, it would not be more than 1000
Dirhams. If he did not attend after receiving a fine, the court has
a discretionary power to issue an arrest order against the
If, however, the witnesses, apologized to for not attending the
hearing and provide reasons such as sickness, the court has the
right to re-locate or move the witness's place, if the court
finds it to be necessary.
Nevertheless, if the court considers that the excuse of the
witness if false, it will have the right to order jail sentence,
not more than three months or fines not exceeding 2000 Dirhams.
One of the most common questions which will be addressed to all
witness would be about their nationality, address, relationship
with the victim or the accused. They would also inquire if the
witnesses had been held in the police stations or the Prosecution
before. The court has the right to request for the witnesses'
previous statement to be read out loud during the hearing, in case
it is contradictory.
If there is a witness hearing in the criminal proceedings, the
prosecutors, the victim, the accused and his attorney have the
right to address the questions to the witnesses, however, it would
be subjected to the approval of the court.
Although it is unlikely to be accepted but both parties, have
the right to request, rehearing for the same witness or to request
additional witnesses. Witnesses may not be heard together. Each
one, usually are heard individually.
In most of the cases, the court asks them to not leave the
chamber until the hearing is completed. However, the courts have
the right to make the witnesses confront one another. The courts
may refuse addressing any questions to the witnesses, if they
consider it to be irrelevant or not related to the case. The courts
have to protect the witnesses' implicit or explicit statements
that might cause distraction or intimidation. Furthermore, the
court has the right to refuse listening to any facts from the
witnesses, which it deems to be sufficiently clear.
After the hearing is completed, the court has the discretionary
power to allow the prosecutor, accused and all other parties to the
case to have a talk. In all cases, the accused shall be the last
one to talk, which is in accordance with Article 169 of UAE
Criminal Procedures Law. The courts have the discretionary power to
prevent the accused or other parties in the case, to speak outside
of the litigation or to keep them from repeating their statement on
If one of the accused did not attend in the beginning of the
hearing, the court might reconsider permitting him to attend upon
his late arrival. However, it falls under the discretion of the
Lastly, it important for all witnesses to bring their own ID
along before attending the hearings.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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Last year we reported that the DIFC had successfully established itself as a so called ‘conduit' jurisdiction for the enforcement of foreign and domestic arbitral awards as well as foreign money judgements.
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