Issuing the laws
Article 110 of the Constitution provides for the process of promulgation of laws. Bills or draft laws produced by the Cabinet will not have a legal impact until they are approved by the President and ratified by the Supreme Council.
The Cabinet prepares a bill and submit it to the Federal National Council - FNC (Arabic) who may pass, amend or reject them. The Cabinet then submits the bill to the President of the Federation for his approval and presentation to the Supreme Council for ratification. The President of the Federation signs the bill after ratification by the Supreme Council and authorises its promulgation.
If the FNC enters any amendment to the bill that is not acceptable to the President of the Federation or the Supreme Council, or if the FNC rejects the bill, the President or the Supreme Council may return it to the FNC or the President may promulgate the law after ratification by the Supreme Council.
Such laws shall come in force one month after the date of their publication in the official Gazette, unless another date is specified in the said law.
Article 112 provides that laws apply only from the date they come in force without retrospective effect. When necessary and in matters other than criminal ones, the law may provide otherwise.
Jurisdiction of federal laws
According to the UAE's Constitution, federal laws should be enacted to cover the central aspects of the Federation such as:
- foreign affairs
- the federal judicial system
- federal finance and loans
- postal and communication services
- federal public works
- civil aviation
- public health
- electricity services
- nationality and related matters
- management of federal possessions
- census and federal information.
The Constitution further emphasises that federal laws shall regulate labour and social services, real estate and its expropriation in the public interest, agriculture and animal wealth, substantive civil and criminal legislation, company laws, laws of procedure, protection of intellectual property, aviation, delineation of waters and regulation of shipping on the high seas.
On the other hand, the local governments of the seven emirates are authorised to regulate local matters that were not confined to the Federal Government.
Issuance of decrees
When there is an urgency to promulgate a law between the sessions of the Supreme Council, the President together with the Cabinet may promulgate the necessary laws in the form of decrees, which shall have the force of law, provided that they are not inconsistent with the Constitution.
Such decree laws are referred to the Supreme Council within a maximum of one week for approval or rejection.