Electronic monitoring was introduced earlier this year [2019] via Article 355 of Federal Law No. 35/1992 (Criminal Procedures Law) via the amendments to the Criminal Procedures Law implemented by Federal Decree-Law No. 17/2018.

On 4 August 2019, the UAE Cabinet, or more commonly referred to as the Council of Ministers, issued Cabinet Decision No. 53/2019 Regulating Electronic Monitoring (the “Decision”) providing further granular details on the application of electronic monitoring, and permitting collaboration with the private sector in the implementation of electronic monitoring.

Administration of electronic monitoring is overseen by the Ministry of Interior, and all local and federal police forces, with support from the Ministry of Justice in certain respects.

Electronic monitoring is defined as (loosely translated) “the prevention of an accused or convicted person from absence outside a curfew from their domicile or location designated by the public prosecution or the competent court”.

Electronic monitoring is defined to account for both time-based and geographical monitoring as designated by the public prosecution or competent court in respective matters.

Circumstances which could subject someone to electronic monitoring are:

  1. Temporary surveillance in lieu of temporary confinement (incarceration or otherwise).
  2. Temporary surveillance in lieu of half of an incarceration punishment, after half that period has been concluded.

Electronic surveillance can be executed via continuous home signaling devices, geographical tracking devices, or any other method approved by the Cabinet. All tracked data will be archived in central-local and federal archives, respectively.

Specifications of electronic monitoring methods require:

  1. Avoidance of health risks to the person under surveillance.
  2. Any devices used should be approved by the Emirates Authority for Standardization & Metrology.
  3. Avoidance of any hindrance to the person any surveillance with respect to their occupation, education, profession, training, or medical treatment, unless otherwise ordered by the public prosecution or competent court.
  4. Guarantee of privacy of the private life of the person under surveillance.
  5. Guarantee of privacy of the personal data collected from the surveillance.

Those subject to electronic monitoring must comply with the following:

  1. To inform the public prosecution of any changes to their occupation or their domicile.
  2. To inform the public prosecution if there is intent to temporary relocate for a period exceeding 15 days.
  3. To permit visitations from those in charge of administering the electronic monitoring.
  4. Safeguard the monitoring device, and not tamper with it or damage it.
  5. To not travel outside the State without obtaining approval from the public prosecution or competent court and inform the public prosecution upon their return.

The Decision permits the Ministry of Interior to cooperate with the private sector, as required, to implement the requirements of the Decision and electronic monitoring in general.

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