The Public Prosecution has been established in Abu Dhabi under Law No. 23 of 2006 concerning the Judicial Department and has been regulated since 2007 pursuant to Decree No. 22 issued by His Highness Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD), which stipulates the reorganization of the existing prosecution offices and the formation of new ones.
The Public Prosecution practices its jurisdiction over criminal cases as a representative of the society and public right, seeking fulfillment of justice and rule of law.
The Public Prosecution is solely responsible for initiating criminal cases, as it assumes the responsibility of investigation, indictment, and referral to the competent court, when the accused is proven to be an accomplice in the crime. The Public Prosecution proceeds with the criminal proceedings before the courts until a final judgment is issued or a decision to dismiss the case is taken.
The Public Prosecution is in charge of all other competences stipulated by the law or required under its administrative function, including the supervision of penal institutions, detention and custody centers; granting permission to public authority officers to contact the detainees held in the penal institution; and enforcing the judgments and orders rendered on criminal cases. The Public Prosecution intervenes also in civil and personal status cases involving disqualified, incapacitated, missing and disappearing individuals, as well as charities, wills, grants, and claims related to recusal of judges and prosecutors in accordance with regulatory laws.
The structure of the Public Prosecution consists of the Attorney General at the top of the hierarchy, senior advocates general, advocates general, directors of prosecution (chief prosecutors), and prosecutors. Members of higher positions have the authority to supervise and monitor their subordinates.
he comes at the top of the Public Prosecution hierarchy, who is inherently in charge of practicing the functions of the Public Prosecution, with the assistance of the remaining prosecution members, of different levels. Subordinate members assume the powers of the AG, being his default representatives. The Attorney General has the right of judicial and administrative supervision on all other members.
Advocates General (Senior)
In addition to the powers prescribed by law, Senior Advocates General shall exercise the tasks delegated by the Attorney-General. Senior advocates general , advocates general, and chief prosecutors, each within his jurisdiction, shall perform all ordinary functions of the Attorney General in terms of brining and initiating criminal cases, conducting investigations, criminal prosecution, representing the public prosecution before the courts, submitting arguments and appealing judgments all under the default proxy capacity.
Advocates general usually represent the Public Prosecution before the Court of Cassation, sign the appeal notices and prepare their briefs and memos stating reasons for appeal.
Chief prosecutors shall have the competence to
· Bring criminal actions and felony cases before the court, or issue an order that there is no basis for instituting the criminal action.
· Represent the Public Prosecution in the disciplinary court hearings held in relation to judges and prosecutors.
· Directors of prosecution offices shall have the same powers as those mentioned above with the exception of the last paragraph.
Being the representatives of the Attorney General, prosecutors have the competence to investigate and take action on all criminal cases and to claim public rights. They are the frontline members of the judiciary to directly deal with the public by investigating reported incidents and deciding the appropriate legal characterization before taking an action on the offence, in case of felony, either by sending it to the director of the prosecution with a draft order for referral to the Criminal Court supported by a list of verified evidence; or by preparing a dismissal memo indicting the exclusion of the criminal suspicious nature of the crime, or the order to dismiss the case for lack of evidence. If the offence is a misdemeanor, where indictment outweighs innocence, the incident will be ordered to be referred to the Court of Misdemeanors. If sufficient reasons are justified to stay the case with no action to be taken, an order of dismissal will be issued.
The administrative role of the Public Prosecution is regulated as follows:
Technical Office of the Attorney General
The office is in charge of the Public Prosecution members and its affairs as well as its judicial, supervisory, administrative, and financial duties. It has been established to ensure the proper functioning of the Public Prosecution mission in order to achieve justice and the rule of law in line with the goals set by the Judicial Department.
Administrative Office of the Attorney General
It is responsible for organizing all appointments and interviews of the Attorney General as well as the letters and correspondence received or issued by the Attorney-General, and for preparing the administrative decisions and periodic literatures to be presented to the Attorney General.
This division assumes the task of coordination, supervision and administrative inspection on all aspects of the administrative work in the Public Prosecution Office. It has several specialized sections to ensure accuracy and control and to improve the level of administrative performance in the public prosecution office.
It has the competence is to represent the prosecution before the Court of Cassation and to submit challenges to the court. The law sets forth its specific competences of challenge in criminal and personal status matters. It is an integral part of the formation of the Court of Cassation.
It has the competence to represent the prosecution before the Court of Appeal, review the judgments and the dismissal orders in cases of oppositions, objections and administrative cases, and to investigate complaints related to lawyers. The law sets forth its specific jurisdiction of challenge concerning appeals of criminal cases.
Its competence is to investigate and take action on important major criminal cases and to intervene in civil cases involving incapacitated and disappearing individuals. Under this come the minor prosecution offices which are administratively and technically supervised by the Major Prosecution. It specializes in inspecting prisons and reporting to the technical office. There are several Major Prosecution offices scattered throughout the Emirate of Abu Dhabi as follows: Abu Dhabi Major Prosecution, Al Rahba Prosecution, Bani Yas Prosecution, Money Prosecution, Al Ain Major Prosecution and Al Dhafra Major Prosecution.
Minor Prosecutions come in the lower level of the AG hierarchy, they have been established to facilitate litigation and the process of using courts by residents living in remote or populated areas. These prosecution offices deal with all types of offences except for those under the specialized felony prosecutions, e.g. Al Ruwais Prosecution, Al Yahar Prosecution and Al Waqan Prosecution.
Specialized Prosecutions, in terms of
Type of crime: It deals with the investigation and disposition of certain types of crimes such as the money prosecution, traffic prosecution, municipal prosecution, naturalization and residency prosecution, domestic workers prosecution, community service prosecution, and tourism prosecution. All of these offices are supervised by the Major prosecution, with the exception of the Media Prosecution affiliated with the Attorney General Office.
Capacity of persons: i.e. the Family Prosecution, which is concerned with the investigation and disposition of all misdemeanor offences occurring within the same family or committed by juveniles, and it follows the Major Prosecution.
There are 6 major prosecution offices and 16 minor prosecution offices in Abu Dhabi City, Al Ain and Al Dhafra.
According to the new strategy of ADJD, the Public Prosecution conducts its functions in accordance with a constantly evolving methodology that seeks to support and protect the society, through promotion of awareness campaigns among the youth and young people, with the aim to safeguard their lives and futures.