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Arrest and Provisional Detention: The Obligations of the UAE under Article 14 of the Arab Charter on Human Rights

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posted on 13.09.2013, 14:49 by Mohammad Saeed Hassan Al-Haddad Al-Hattawi
This thesis explores the compatibility of UAE law on arrest and provisional detention with Article 14 ArCHR. Given the lack of any report by the UAE on the measures which they have taken to give effect to the rights recognised in the ArCHR and the absence of effective institutions under the ArCHR to provide authoritative interpretation of the Charter’s Articles, this thesis advances an interpretation of Article 14, drawing on the interpretation of Article 9 ICCPR under the HRC and Article 5 ECHR under ECtHR. In the case of the ICCPR, this is because the wording is similar and it is a universal instrument to which some parties to the Arab Charter are also parties. In the case of the ECHR, it is because the words are similar and the Strasbourg Court has considered aspects of the interpretation and application of those provisions in a number of contexts. This considered interpretation will be of assistance to decision makers in the UAE and other parties to the ArCHR. This thesis’ key finding is that, while UAE law on arrest and provisional detention is compliant with Article 14 ArCHR or, arguably, so in many respects, there are other incompatible aspects. In particular, the Public Prosecutor, rather than a court deciding some key matters means that UAE law fails to comply with the right to be brought promptly before a judge or other judicial officer and the right to have the lawfulness of the arrest or detention decided quickly by a court. Accordingly, it recommends that the UAE achieves compliance by requiring that the above-mentioned procedures are best undertaken by a court. This is guided by the UK system because of the ways in which it complies with the requirements of the ECHR provides lessons for the UAE’s implementation of Article 14 ArCHR.



Bonner, David; White, Robin

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University of Leicester

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