United Arab Emirates: UAE Joins Nations Monitoring Offenders Through Electronic Tagging

Last Updated: 4 January 2019
Article by Hassan Elhais

The Law No. 17 of 2018 provides for an alternative to imprisonment in certain offences and subject to certain restrictions, which we have amplified in the following part herein. The alternative to imprisonment comes as a handy, electronic, portable and wearable device, which is intended to restrict and monitor the convicts or the accused pending trial instead of giving them a jail term or police custody during the investigation. The device is capable to determine the geographical location of the person wearing it and shall therefore aid the criminal enforcement authority to ascertain the location of the accused under trial or the convict serving his sentence under a surveillance through this electronic device. The use of this electronic device as a monitoring tool is allowed for a temporary period instead of a police custody or a replacement of a criminal conviction resulting in an imprisonment sentence. There are, however, restrictions in the use of this electronic device, which we have provided in the following along with the treatment to the existing convicts in light of this humanitarian, novel and positive development in the legal system. Electronic tag as the form of surveillance

One of the most important changes the new law brings is the establishment of the sentence served with an electronic tag as the form of surveillance. Having the criminals under electronic monitoring will become a first-time practice in the UAE. The law indicates that such procedures could be applied on the accused within the criminal investigation or even after the final judgment. It could include restrictions for the criminal from being away from the designated location or his home, whatever decided by Prosecution or the competent court. As per the new changes, within the criminal investigation stage, there could be possibility to have bail under the electronic monitoring through the decision of Prosecution or, even upon the judgment the court could implement the same procedures as a replacement of the sentence. The law indicates that such procedure could include enforcing the criminal to keep electronic device for entire period of investigation.

Even when the accused was referred to the court with the electronic tag, but the court decided that there is no jurisdiction with respect to the matter, the accused shall remain with a right to request the cancellation of such monitoring, unless and until the new case is filed before the competent court. The law also indicates that if somebody was under arrest or electronic monitoring when the court found him guilty and he was eventually sentenced only with a fine, the court execution department has to reduce 100 dirhams from the amount of fine per each day spent under such arrest or electronic monitoring.

The new law indicates that the concerned authority (while they are taking their decision) shall consider giving the accused a chance to continue his professional practice, complete his training, education, continue receiving medical treatment or any other conditional circumstances the competent authority might find necessary to be considered. The law gives the police (as the nearest police station) an authority to supervise the execution of the electronic monitoring of the criminals. It authorizes the police to visit the accused/criminal to make sure that he is executing the order and to check the integrity of the devices before they submit the report to the competent Prosecution. The law gives the right to the accused or the criminal to anytime request from the Prosecution to check if the device is affecting his health and to provide him with a medical report indicating the same.

Electronic monitoring for temporary period

The new law authorized the Prosecution to decide on a replacement of a police custody with electronic monitoring for investigation period, regardless if the same has been requested by accused or not. However, it is only possible if a prosecutor made such decision, and it also means that the accused during the investigation period has the right to reject the replacement of a police custody with an electronic monitoring, which is very unlikely to happen. In this case, he can remain in police custody until the case is decided.

The same law empowers the Prosecution to prevent the accused from contacting any of his partners in a crime and/or the victim and/or the victim's family, yet it does not give the right to the Prosecution restricting accused from contacting his lawyer. The law excluded the accused in listed types of crimes from benefiting of having the electronic monitoring option. One of the most important types of crimes where the application of the electronic monitoring is impossible are the crimes with mandatory deportation sentences, such as drugs, sexual and honour related crimes.

The law gives the Prosecution the right to put the accused under electronical monitoring for a month, extendable to one additional month. If the Prosecution wishes to extend such monitoring for additional period, that should be done only after receiving the approval of the competent criminal authority, in accordance with article 364 of the same law. The law empowers the Criminal Court whether to extend or to cancel electronic monitoring, or to release the accused conditionally or unconditionally.

Electronic monitoring as a replacement of the sentence through a criminal judgment

The new law authorizes the Criminal Court to replace any jail sentence of less than two years of imprisonment with the electronic monitoring, if the court is convinced that the accused health condition or age make him to be unlikely to commit the same crime again, and if the accused has a permanent place of residence in the UAE, and if he has a regular professional work or he has an educational activity, or he is the only breadwinner in his family or for any other personal reasons the court may find considerable.

The law restricted the court from applying the electronic monitoring as the sentence if the criminal commits the same crime for the second time. A person, who will be sentenced to be under the electronic monitoring has to keep the competent authorities updated on the changes of his place of work or residence, if he is meant to stay in a new location for a period of more than 2 weeks. And even though he spent more than 2 weeks in a new location and returned back eventually, he has to update the authorities on the same developments. The accused is obliged to accept regular visits from the competent authorities to check him honouring the electronic monitoring and he should not, under any circumstances, leave the country without relevant court approval. However, the law also gives the criminal the right to apply for leaving the country temporarily while he is under electronic monitoring through submission of the request to the court and to criminal prosecution indicating the destination, the reason for traveling and the expected date of return. Such traveling will be considered as lawful if only such request was accepted by competent authorities. It is worth to mention that although the request was accepted, the period outside the country shall not be calculated as part of serving the sentence under electronic monitoring.

The same law gives the concerned court the right to amend the location, timing and apply some restrictions on electronic monitoring. Such amendments could be done based on the decision of a prosecution or the request of a criminal. The court has the right to cancel the electronic monitoring if there is a medical report indicating that it could affect the criminals' health or safety, or if the court found after ordering the sentence that the criminal had final jail term from any other court and that was not indicated within the trial procedures, or if the court found it impossible to execute for any reason or even if the criminal requested for the same and the court found that such request worth to be accepted. The decision in this case shall be final and not subject to any kind of right to be objected.

The electronic monitoring within the criminal investigation could be cancelled if the criminal committed another intended crime or awarded jail sentence in any other crime, or if the competent authority found through the check process that he did not respect or obey the instructions of the court or prosecution. And the decision in these cases could be objected through grievance, which has to be raised within the period defined in law.

If in the middle of serving the electronic monitoring the court ever decided to cancel the procedures and replace them with jail sentence, the period which the criminal spent already under the electronic monitoring has to be excluded from the total jail term period.

What is the position of a criminal already serving a jail sentence of the previous judgments. Can they benefit from the new law?

As per article 380 of the Law 17 of 2018, any criminal who has been sentenced to remain in jail between 2 to 5 years and served half of that period, has the right to request from the prosecution to replace the rest of the sentence with similar period under electronic monitoring. However, such request is not obligatory for the prosecution to accept and it remains at their sole discretion. A prosecutor has the right to check the criminal's behaviour and history while he was serving his jail sentence and if he is not a risk for national security. The prosecutor will submit such report to the court which will order jail sentence taking into account the report. If the court found or believed that the criminal will not commit the same crime again, they have a discretionary power to accept the prosecution's report and to release the criminal. Such decision by the court could be final and cannot be objected. However, if it was dismissed, the criminal has the right to submit another request after 6 months.

If the court decided to replace the rest of the jail sentence with electronic monitoring, the prosecution would be the authority to supervise the execution of such decision. The criminal and prosecution will remain having the right to request the amendment of the restriction on a place and timing of the monitoring. And again, the decision could be cancelled if the court found that it affects the criminal's health and safety, or the criminal requested to cancel it and return him back to jail, or it is impossible to execute, or he committed the intended crime, or the competent authority found that he does not respect or obey the restrictions ordered. If it was cancelled, the criminal has to serve the rest of the sentence in jail. Any cancellation will be final and will not be a subject to any appeal.

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.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions