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  • Detained in Dubai

Top UAE lawyer calls for legal reforms after recent terrifying arrests of 3 Brits

Updated: Dec 15, 2021

- Jamie Harron, Jamil Mukadam and Billy Barclay

Essam Al Tamimi. Assures press that the UAE is looking at ways to simplify and modernise its legal system

Essam Al Tamimi, one of the UAE's most respected lawyers has publicly claimed that the pace of legal reform is speeding up in the UAE. Tamimi has spoken on the subject before with the Arabian Business Network magazine, "lamenting the country’s 'outdated' legal system and calling for much of its decades-old legislation to be revised." Tamimi said that his "bugbears were that residents and tourists could still be prosecuted under what he viewed as 'antiquated' laws, for example that prohibit holding hands in public."

Radha Stirling, CEO of British based NGO Detained In Dubai, the organisation leading the fight to free Jamie Harron, Billy Barclay and Jamil Mukadam responded, “we are glad to see the government enlisting someone like Essam Al Tamimi to help address the many problems faced by the UAE judicial system. The problems faced by the UAE will not be solved merely by enacting new laws that we can expect will be enforced as arbitrarily as the existing laws are enforced.”

Unlike most mature legal systems, in the UAE court decisions and sentences handed down from judges, are entirely discretionary. No legal precedents exist as guidelines for similar cases. This leads to vastly varying sentences for similar 'offences.&#x