ABU DHABI // The swearing in of Judge Khulood al Dhaheri on Tuesday was hailed as a historic step for the UAE, and underscored a significant stride for the judiciary. Judge Dhaheri was sworn in before Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Minister of Presidential Affairs and chairman of the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department, becoming perhaps the most visible part of a broad reform effort in the Judicial Department, and a symbol of the growing role of women in the development of the emirate.
Details of where and in what court she will be posted were not released. "The appointment of a woman judge is certainly a unique experience in the UAE," Sheikh Mansour said in a statement released by the state news agency, WAM. "I wished her success in her new post and urged her to discharge responsibilities in administering justice without fear or favour and to strictly adhere to standards of fairness and neutrality."
For the past eight years, she has served as a lawyer and prosecutor with the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department, handling cases in the Shariah, civil, commercial, criminal and supreme courts. The undersecretary of the Judicial Department, Sultan Saeed al Badi, said a royal decree from Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, confirmed the intent to involve women in public affairs: "The involvement of women in Government has been evidenced with the appointment of a female minister, the appointment of women to the Federal National Council and now the appointment of the first female judge. The decision to appoint female judges helps consolidate Emirati women's growing role in public life."
Judge Dhaheri told WAM she was grateful to Sheikh Mansour for his confidence in her and pledged to serve her country to the best of her abilities. She thanked Skeikh Khalifa; Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi; and Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, widow of Sheikh Zayed and considered by many Emirati women as the "Mother of the UAE". * WAM