Monday, April 27, 2009

UAE laws online in English

There was a hugely important story in The National at the weekend, reporting that the Ministry of Justice has announced "that every federal law passed since the UAE’s founding in 1971 has been translated into English and will soon be available online."

The Ministry also announced that it "has also begun translating 1,500 federal court decisions, 500 international treaties signed by the UAE and 2,000 official fatwas issued by UAE muftis, to create a centralised, easily accessible body of case law and statutes in both Arabic and English."

Saying that this is a hugely important project is an understatement.

The Ministry says there are two aims - one is to improve understanding of the UAE’s laws and legal system internationally, as well as foster the transparency sought by international companies and investors.

The other recognises the reality on the ground - more people speak English than Arabic in the UAE and the Ministry says its goal is to make the laws available to them. In future they may well translate the laws into other languages too.

The project involves gathering all the laws in one place, in itself a great leap forward because they've never been centralised before. Putting them online in Arabic was the next step and then comes the mammoth task of translating everything into English.

Anyone who's been involved with translation knows what a difficult task it is. Translating word for word simply doesn't work; the sense, the meaning has to be conveyed in the new language. That must be particularly important with translating laws.

They say that eighty people have been working on the project here and internationally for more than two years so far.

The website will have a search engine which they say will be able to find even one word amongst all the legal documents.

How many times have you heard people complaining that the laws are not understood, that they're open to interpretation, that they're only in Arabic, that there's too much secrecy. This really is a giant step forward.

The National report is here.

Ministry of Justice website.


Meherab Saher said...

This is definitely fantastic news! A huge step forward for the gevernment in improving transparency.

Mazhar Mohad said...

The website is Why does everything has to begin with 'e'? This is pissing me off. Why can't it be simply It seems to be a norm here to add 'e' before the word if it has anything to do online. ednrd, efines, eregisteration, ebla


Meherab Saher said...

Its the eGovernment initiative.

It does get in your face after a while...

Anonymous said...

I agree about it being hugely important, but I can't find a single law on the site. I often look, and have found nothing other than Labour laws.

UAE Laws Online said...

If you are looking for UAE Translated Laws in English this website is one of the best seller of Arab Laws Online, you may pay by credit card or paypal.

Boston Lawyer said...

Do not pay for the English translation of the UAE laws, you can get them for free at:

uae laws in english said...

Dear Boston Lawyers,

Our website is offering lesgislations and laws of 18 arab countries and we have a huge collection of 10,000. Do your mentioned website provide what we are offering? even they are not providing complete UAE legislations, i would suggest you to do some research and then post negative opinions about others.