(Student’s Full Name)
Question: How International Treaties Interact with Emirati Law (Hierarchy and International Treaties Implementation) according to the Constitution and Main Legislation?
According to Kelsen, “‘international law and national law cannot be mutually different and mutually independent systems” (as cited in Harris, 2004, p. 67). Kelsen explains further that “both systems” of the law are perceived as to be “‘valid for the same space and at the same time’” (as cited in Harris, 2004, p. 67). Therefore, certain stipulations found in the national laws expressed in the United Emirates Constitution and the Main Legislation align themselves well with international law. The Emirati Law has provisions that interact with the stipulations of international treaties related to human rights, economic rights, cultural rights and social rights.
United Arab Emirates Law and International Law
Harris (2004) explains that “international and domestic law as systems can never come into conflict” (p. 68). On the other hand, the author admits that what usually occurs in the international arena would be a “conflict of obligations,” or “an inability for the State on the domestic plane” to behave in the manner “required by international law” (Harris, 2004, p. 68). Based on an assessment of the Emrati Law stipulated in the Constitution of the Arab Emirates and the main legislation, the Arab Emirates have endeavored to allow its laws to align itself with the provisions stipulated in international treaties, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).
Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) stipulates that all “‘human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights’” (as cited in Harris, 2004, p. 662). This provision expresses the fact that the individual is free and is equal with other individual. Hence, the individual should be treated as such. The Emirati Law has done its best to interact with this stipulation, as indicated by Article 25 which states that “[a]ll persons are equal in law” (ConstituteProject.org, 2009, p. 7). The Constitution of the Arab Emirates goes further by stating that there “shall be no distinction among the citizens of the UAE on the basis of race, nationality, faith or social status” (ConstituteProject.org, 2009, p. 7). This provision within the Arab Emirates’ Constitution respects not only the equality that the individual shares with another, but also does not discriminate against any UAE citizen on his or her “‘race, nationality, faith or social status’” (ConstituteProject.org, 2009, p. 7). However, it should be noted that gender was not mentioned. This might have been an oversight of the persons who drafted the Emrati constitution.
Article 12 2(d) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) stipulates that the State should participate in the “creation of conditions which would assure to all medical service and medical attention in the event of sickness” (UN General Assembly, 1966, p. 4). Article 19 of the Constitution of the Arab Emirates stipulates a similar provision, as indicated by the following: “The community shall provide all the citizens with medical care and means of prevention and treatment of diseases and epidemics” (ConstituteProject.org, 2009, p. 6). The article continues by stating that it is the responsibility of the community to “promote the establishment of public, private hospitals, clinics, and treatment houses” (ConstituteProject.org, 2009, p. 6). It is clear that Article 19 of the Emirati constitution interacts itself well with Article 12 2 (d) of the ICESCR in securing the social right of all citizens having access to quality health care.
Article 6 of ICESCR stipulates that the “States Parties” which have agreed to ratify its conventions have recognized the “right to work,” which is the right of the individual to have the “opportunity to gain his living by work which he freely chooses or accepts” and the “States Parties” also agreed to take the “appropriate steps to safeguard this right” (UN General Assembly, 1966, p. 2). Similarly, Article 20 of the Emrati Constitution states that the “community shall provide jobs to the citizens, qualify them for those jobs, and create the suitable conditions for service” (ConstituteProject.org, 2009, p. 6). In other words, the UAE, which is a State Party of the ICESCR, has helped safeguarding the economic rights of its citizens (as required by the conventions of the ICESCR) be ensuring the provision of jobs and providing the means to qualify to be employed in those jobs. Furthermore, it should be noted that the Royal Decree No. 25 of 2005 have recently revised “the wages chart and levels added to the personnel system of 1992 in the Emirate of Dubai” so as to improve the earning power of the workers, particularly in Dubai (International Labor Organization, n.d. para. 1). This royal decree interacts with Article 7a(i) of the ICESCR which states that workers should “[f]air wages and equal value without distinction of any kind” and 7a(ii), which states that the worker’s remuneration should provide a “decent living for themselves and their families” (UN General Assembly,1966, p. 2). It can be argued that fair wages can be interpreted as wages that allow a worker to live within the present economic conditions of a State. Therefore, it can be said that the revision of the wages chart by the Dubai Royal Family was an attempt to ensure that the worker was earning wages that allowed him to live comfortably within the country.
In conclusion, the government of the UAE has made efforts to ensure that the Emrati Law aligns itself with conventions stipulated in international treaties. The UAE has ensured that the human rights of the individual within its country are protected by ensuring that the individual is treated equally under the law. Furthermore, the UAE has included provisions within its constitution to ensure that the individual has right to quality health care. Finally, the Royal Decree No. 25 of 2005 and Article 20 have both helped in safeguarding the individual’s economic right to earn a decent livable wage.
ConstituteProject.org. (2009). United Arab Emirates's Constitution of 1971 with Amendments through 2009. Mountain View, CA: ConstituteProject.org.
International Labor Organization. (n.d.). United Arab Emirates-Decree No. 25 of 2005. Retrieved February 13, 2016, from http://www.ilo.org/dyn/natlex/natlex4.detail?p_lang=en
United General Assembly. (1966). International Convention on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights. Geneva: UN General Assembly.