Prominent Dubai judge welcomes public approval of justice system

Ahmad Ibrahim Saif, head of the Dubai Civil Court and former chief justice of the Dubai criminal courts, has welcomed the positive public reaction to one of the most comprehensive crime surveys ever conducted in the UAE.

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DUBAI // One of the most authoritative voices in Dubai’s legal system has welcomed the public’s positive reaction to the judiciary and the work it does to bring criminals to justice.

A YouGov survey - one of the most comprehensive polls of public attitudes to crime ever conducted in the UAE - drew overwhelming praise for the police, the courts and the criminal justice system in the emirates.

Research indicates the UAE public believe, in the majority of cases, the courts are quick to deliver justice and judges tend to hand out sentences that fit the crime.

The research also shows the public believe prisons do a good job of rehabilitating offenders.

Ahmad Ibrahim Saif, head of the Dubai Civil Court and former chief justice of the Dubai criminal courts, welcomed the favourable public opinion.

The survey found 8 in 10 (79 per cent) believe police are doing an excellent or good job in their emirate.

“The percentage of 79 for those who showed satisfaction with the police performance in general is a one that reflects reality,” said Judge Saif.

“The Dubai Police deals with people from multiple nationalities and to satisfy all of them is impossible - that is why I say its a reality-reflecting percentage.

“I am not being biased with police and I am sure they are even working harder to boost their performance standards. They are always enhancing services.”

Judge Saif also addressed figures that show two-thirds (66 per cent) of respondents agree police treat everyone fairly regardless of who they are.

He believed the figure should be higher.

“I say that after 22 years working closely with the police after graduating from the police academy, police have always been just and never discriminate between individuals based on gender or color or religion,” he said.

“They deal with all on the basis that all are equal under law and therefore I say that the 66 per cent doesn’t represent reality.

“Through my years with the prosecution, then as a lawyer and then as a head of the criminal court, I did not even receive a complaint saying that police have been bias or that they did not treat people with respect.”

The judge was pleased with the percentages of those who see the court and prison are effective.

“Prisons must respect a man’s humanity and dignity which for sure does not come in a cross line with punishing him or her for a crime,” he said. “We punish but we do not humiliate.

“There is no contradiction between having fully equipped prisons with high standard services and between the punishment because being jailed alone is a harsh punishment, to tie a person’s freedom is not easy.”