Law students interact with legal experts

DUBAI - For a change, lawyers, legal advisers and a top judge at the Dubai Courts found themselves being cornered and grilled yesterday on the various aspects of the UAE's judicial system, including the ethics of defending an accused.

By Preeti Kannan (Our staff reporter)

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Published: Fri 25 Jul 2008, 1:28 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 6:17 PM

The questioners were a group of 140 Emirati male and female law students from across the country, including those from the newly-launched University of St Joseph-Dubai (USJ).

As part of the orientation programme, the group interacted with a panel of legal experts to get an insight into the country's legal system.

The panel included Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director-General of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), Aisha Al Tonaiji, lawyer and owner of Eve Law Firm, Dr Aida Azar, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Law at USJ, Mohammed Al Muhairi, Senior Legal Advisor and Director of Department of Legal Strategy Affairs in Dubai Executive Council, and Halima Al Marzouqi, Legal Advisor at DLP Piper International Law Firm. Answering several questions, including those related to the ethics concerning defence of an accused, Judge Mohammed Yousef, one of the youngest chief justices in the world, explained,

"Everyone has the right to be defended. When you defend a person, it is for the judge to weigh the facts and reach a verdict."

For this reason it was important for the judge to be fair, he pointed out.

When asked if it was hard for judges to hand out harsh penalties, he said that judges have to act according to demand of the situation.

"We have to take tough stances, but we also have to consider the human side," Judge Yousef told students.

The experts also fielded queries on the implementation of the Shariah and the international law in the country.

Aisha Al Tonaiji urged students to go beyond books for their quest for knowledge. She also acknowledged the presence of several female students, indicative of their growing interest in the legal system.

Mariam Ahmed, a law student from Dubai, said, "This was a very insightful interaction and gave us a perspective on what we can prepare ourselves for in the future."

Abdullah Thani, a law student from Al Ain, who visited Dubai Courts for the first time said the question-and-answer session and the tour of the courts provided them with the opportunity to understand the legal system better.

The event organised jointly by Dubai Courts and the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), was part of the Dubai's Strategic Plan (DSP) 2015 to introduce young people of the emirate to the possibility of a career in law.

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