In 2006, the Abu Dhabi Government launched a historic government-wide restructuring program. The goal of the program is to create a cohesive government structure that will provide comprehensive world class services to the residents, visitors and businesses. The program was also intended to translate the ambitious vision of placing the Emirate of Abu Dhabi gradually on the list of the world five best governments.
Based on this vision, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in His Capacity as the Ruler of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, issued law No. (23) of 2006 to restructure Abu Dhabi Judicial Department. The law represented a first step in Abu Dhabi’s pursuit to establish a world class independent judicial system that administers justice impartially and safeguard the rule of the law.
Law (23) provided for the establishment of the Judicial Council to be headed by the President of the Court of Cassation. It approves judge appointments, promotions and secondments; and it is to be consulted over matters related to the judiciary and Public Prosecution.
The Law also stipulated the formation of Courts of First Instance, Appeal and Cassation in the Emirate. Courts of First Instance are constituted of civil, commercial, criminal, administrative and personal status circuits, as well other circuits to be formed upon recommendations by the Judicial Council. Moreover, the Law pointed out the qualifications to be met by the staff in charge of adjudication, established Public Prosecution headed by the Attorney General and a sufficient number of members.
Under the same Law too, two Divisions were established within the Department: Implementation (Exceution) and Judicial Inspection. The former ensures that judgments are enforced and provides the judicial services; while the latter, reporting to the Judicial Council, conducts regular inspections to evaluate the judge and public prosecutor work performance.
The Law allocates an important chapter for the judge immunity, duties and accountability. The chapter is intended to reinforce the independence and integrity of the Judiciary. While the Law guarantees immunity for the judges to enable them adjudicate cases impartially and without being jeopardized by any party, it holds them accountable for any negligence or misuse of power.
Ever since launched, the Department set its mission to safeguard the rule of law by ensuring justice, freedom and peace in society. This mission will be carried out in conformity with a vision based on excellence that provides world class judicial services, maintains the independence and values of the Judiciary, administers justice impartially, serves the public efficiently, seeks excellence and boosts teamwork.
Several entities in the Department concert efforts to fulfill this mission including the following:
Judicial Council: it consists of 10 senior advisors who provide oversight for the judicial performance and other technical judicial matters. They also approve judge selections, promotions and secondments.
The Department Administration: it is headed by the Department Undersecretary who supervise the implementation of strategies, administrative support services and other relevant matters.
The Public Prosecution: it is lead by the Attorney General who supervises all Public Prosecution-related technical and administrative functions.