New UAE criminal code among 40 legal changes in reform push

New UAE criminal code among 40 legal changes in reform push

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11/27/2021 5:50:00 PM

New UAE criminal code among 40 legal changes in reform push

The United Arab Emirates on Saturday said a new criminal code would come into force in January as part of what it called the most sweeping legal reform in the Gulf state's history.

One change that appears new is the ratification of a Federal Crime and Punishment Law, effective from Jan. 2, 2022, designed to better protect women, domestic staff and public safety.Register now for FREE unlimited access to reuters.comRegisterThe UAE wants to reform its legal system to keep a competitive edge as conservative Gulf neighbour Saudi Arabia opens itself up to foreign investment and talent.

Major changes so far included decriminalising premarital sexual relations and alcohol consumption, and cancelling provisions for leniency when dealing with so-called "honour killings" in November 2020.Saturday's statement adds clarity that had been previously lacking to the status of

pre-marital sexual relations and childrenborn from them - stating that parents need not be married."Any couple conceiving a child out of wedlock will be required to marry or singly or jointly acknowledge the child and provide identification papers and travel documents in accordance with the laws of the country of which either is a national," the statement said.

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A criminal case with two years imprisonment would be brought should parents not acknowledge and care for the child.Other recent changes by the UAE include introducing longer-term visas as a way to attract and retain talent and encourage more businesses to set up shop.

The emirate of Abu Dhabi this month introduced its own reform - a novel- aimed at making itself more attractive to expatriates.Register now for FREE unlimited access to reuters.comRegisterReporting by Lisa Barrington; Editing by Christina FincherOur Standards:

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