The Evidence Law is one of the most important laws in the country as it includes a set of rules and procedures that show how to prove civil and criminal issues disputes arising between litigants. Judicial proof must be placed before the judiciary by legally established methods such as writing, witness testimony, evidence, acknowledgment, oath, and presumptions, which was clarified by the federal legislator in Federal Law Number (10) of 1992. Here, in this article, the UAE Evidence Law, the subject of proof, the general rules of proof, and the conditions of the incident to be proven will be explained. Whoever performs it before the court must be aware of what he is doing, for the law protects this person, and imposes penalties on whoever forges it to harm others, or whoever conceals it to prevent the fulfillment of the right.
The legislation that governs evidence law in UAE is as follows:
- The Evidence Law (UAE Law Number 10 of 1992, as amended).
- The Civil Procedure Code (UAE Law Number 11 of 1992, as amended).
- The Civil Code (UAE Law Number 5 of 1985, as amended).
- Certain provisions of the Electronic Transactions Law (UAE Law Number 1 of 2006, as amended).
UAE Evidence Law
The UAE legislator has stipulated the methods of proof by which the opposition party can establish an argument before the judiciary with what he claims. According to Federal Law Number (10) of 1992 On Evidence in Civil and Commercial Transactions, the plaintiff has to prove his right, and the defendant has to disprove it. Whereas the court has to decide on the procedure of the evidence and if there is nothing relevant in law for a particular case then the Judge shall adjudicate according to the Islamic Shari’ah.
The following is a statement of the methods of proof stipulated by the UAE legislator in the UAE Evidence Law:
- Written evidence: Written evidence is defined as: “evidence written in writing to prove the legal act or the legal fact.” There are three types of written evidence, such as official statements or documents organized by a public official within the limits of his competence according to the prevailing legal conditions. This document, however, has to fulfill the necessities of authenticity otherwise, it shall only have the value of an informal document with just signatures, seals, and footprint of the relevant parties. An argument against all people, and it is not challenged except by forgery. As for customary documents, they are those that include the signature, stamp, or fingerprint of the person from whom they were issued, and are considered an argument against the one from whom they were issued as long as he did not deny it, and finally, documents that are not signed, which have no strength in proof Except in a few cases.
The document is permissible unless its legitimacy is challenged by the opponent or is called into question by the court. Documents may be challenged based on their signatures, seals, or originality, and the court has broad powers to compare documents or signatures for verification, seek the assistance of legal experts or government officials, and call upon witness testimony to clarify matters or assert the authenticity of documents.
The authenticity of an electronic record may be challenged if it does not satisfy the requirements set out in the Electronic Transactions Law.
- Presumption: The presumption is defined as: “the conclusion that the law or judge draws from a known fact to know an unknown fact.” There are two types of presumptions, the legal presumptions that the law itself elicits as if the law considers the notation on the bond as a presumption of fulfillment, and judicial presumptions, which are the ones that the judge extracts it from the circumstances of the case.
- Testimony: The testimony is defined as: “a declaration or statement made by a person about certain facts that he knew.” Therefore, the testimony is news, and the news may be false or truthful, and therefore the written evidence is stronger than the testimony in proof. The testimony of witnesses is considered a tool for judicial proof. In Article Number (37) it is permissible to prove through the testimony of witnesses. It does not depart from that, except in the person before whom it is conducted and the intent of giving it. The litigants against the other, and then it is to inform the person in the Judicial Council of his knowledge of an incident that proves a right to others in the face of another. The testimony is considered as evidence in a civil or criminal case, as the search for it responds to the material facts, and the main means of proving these facts is a testimony.
- Acknowledgment: An admission is an acknowledgment made by a human being of a right owed by him to another. If a party to litigation acknowledges before the court a fact alleged against him during the examination of the case relative to this fact, then the admission is judicial. If the admission occurs outside the court or during a dispute that is raised in another case, such admission is known as extrajudicial admission.
- Oath: The oath is known in general: “A statement in which the swearer takes what he believes in his conscience as a witness to the truthfulness of what he says.” Each party may, at any status of the case, tender the conclusive oath to the other provided the fact subject to oath concerns the party to whom the oath is tendered, and if not personal to him then it should focus on his mere knowledge thereof. The judge may, however, refuse to allow the oath to be tendered if the party who tenders the oath does so vexatiously. The party to whom the oath has been tendered may tender back the oath to the other party. The oath cannot, however, be tendered back when it concerns only a fact in which the two parties did not both participate, but concerns only the person to whom the oath has been tendered. When the opposing party has accepted to take the oath, The party tendering the oath or tendering it back may not retract.
- Inspection and experience: It is one of the matters that relate to procedures more than substantive rules, but it is effective evidence of proof. The Court may delegate one of its judges to survey the object of litigation, upon the request of any of the opponents or by its initiative, and shall date and place of the survey in its decision. The court or the judge shall make a report detailing all the facts concerning the survey.
- Expertise: The court may delegate one or more experts from among the State civil servants when necessary, or from the experts registered in the schedule of experts, to have their view on matters essential for determining the case. The expert appointed will evaluate the documents, meet the parties to discuss the case, and may also visit the premises of both parties if required, and then submit the report to the Court. However, this does not mean that the Court will simply accept the report but usually relies upon it to decide the factual and the expert issues.
Conditions for Substantiating Evidence
As indicated by the UAE Evidence Law and what it stipulates, the incident to be proven must fulfill a set of conditions for its proof to be considered correct, and the conditions for the incident to be proven can be summarized as follows:
- A contract that did not indicate what it is, a contract of sale or a lease contract.
- That there is a conflict between individuals about a particular right;
- The facts to be proven must be related to the case, and if they are not related to the case, they are not accepted.
- That the incident to be proven is permissible to prove and not contrary to public order, such as proving a gambling debt, etc.