UAE: New law to allow convicts to find jobs, lead normal lives after serving sentence

Aim is to integrate them into society after completion of rehabilitation programmes


Ismail Sebugwaawo

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Published: Wed 15 Jun 2022, 6:28 PM

The rehabilitation and reintegration of ex-convicts back into society has received a major fillip in the UAE with the passing of a new law to this effect by the Federal National Council (FNC).

The FNC yesterday unanimously approved a new draft law that will allow people who have served time for criminal offences to resume normal lives by finding jobs after going through rehabilitation programmes.

The draft law, tabled during a session presided over by Saqr Ghobash, the FNC Speaker, had provisions aiming to expedite the ways in which ex-convicts could rejoin society, facilitating their access to rehabilitation services and obtaining the necessary certificates. It also provided for facilitating their access to jobs and post-incarceration care.

The law as passed stipulates that rehabilitation will result in the annulling of all the criminal effects of the guilty verdict for the future, and put an end to the subsequent deprivation of rights. The law also sets some general conditions for obtaining rehabilitation services.

Among these, a convict must fulfill all their financial obligations specified in the court sentence to the state or to individuals, unless these obligations have expired - or if the convict proves that they are unable to fulfill them.

If several judgements have been issued against a convict, the rehabilitation process will only take place after all of them have taken effect, provided that the most recent judgement is taken into account while calculating the time period.

The law also stipulates a condition that the applicant for rehabilitation must be residing in the country at the time of submitting their application, and if the convicted person was jointly sentenced, it is sufficient for them to pay only their own personal dues as determined by the court.

The law also identifies six examples where convicts don’t require rehabilitation for the purpose of this law. These include minor crimes where convictions are only accompanied by fines and not jail sentences; crimes involving juveniles or those who are at risk of delinquency; crimes for which judgments of stay of execution were issued; crimes for which a penal order was issued; and crimes that requires conciliation.


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