ABU DHABI // The Judicial Department has signed an agreement with a French institution to help it produce highly trained Emirati judges.
A two-year contract has been signed by the Abu Dhabi Judicial Academy and France’s L’Ecole Nationale de la Magistrature (ENM) to ensure excellence in training.
In 22 exchange visits between Abu Dhabi and France, the French trainers will help to pick the best candidates, improve the academy’s programmes and evaluate its methods, and provide analytical techniques for judges.
“Most of the transfer judges we have from Arab and North African countries studied at ENM,” said Mohammed Busaidan, technical adviser to the department’s chairman. So it made sense to use the school to “make our own expert judges”.
Mr Busaidan said the idea was to improve the training of Emirati judges before setting Emiratisation targets.
“The main goal is to Emiratise the judges’ profession because it is an authoritative post,” he said. “It is not like Emiratising accountants or such as it requires many stages.
“It should not be done just for the sake of Emiratisation but for better quality. Before we set a target we must strengthen the judicial academy.”
About 80 per cent of the prosecutors in Abu Dhabi are Emirati. The number of Emirati judges in the courts was not available.
The academy offers training for new applicants and for existing judges to keep up to date.
“Judges always needs to develop because crime is also developing,” Mr Busaidan said.
Last year, 18 qualified Emirati judges had training at the academy.
“The partnership with the French side is to give the academy regional value. In the future we expect to train judges from around the world. This is a long-term goal,” said Mr Busaidan.
He said the academy did not focus on training by legal instructors, but practical lessons from judges.
Dr Ahmad Al Rasheedi, chancellor of the academy, said the search for improvements was never-ending.
“We live in competitive societies and everyone is pushing for excellence through internal and external partnerships.”