August 31, 2016
The Personal Status Law provides in Art. 1(2) the general rule that" the provisions of this law shall apply to non-UAE nationals" and the exception that "unless the foreigner elects to apply his or her personal status law".
The procedure for requesting the application of the home country law is for parties to bring the full law translated to Arabic and authenticated by the consulate and other official bodies as may be required by the courts.
Sometimes the courts are faced with the party only providing the provisions favorable to them and not the rest of the provisions of the law. The court in these cases always looks to the opposing party for the full and latest laws pertaining to the matter. The judge will rely on that law in whatever pertains to the dispute. If the foreign law has nothing to do with the case in the court, UAE Shariah law will be applied.
If a Muslim person comes to court and requests for the application of his home country Sharia law, the court will apply that law. As long as it is Shariah doctrine, it will be applied even if different in a school of thought and principle than the one followed in the UAE. Application of other faith law may be granted as long as it is compliant with Sharia doctrine. One example is a Hindu law that allows disinheritance of parents, this is in conflict with Shariah.
What are the options available to heirs to apply intentions of testator in the will?
1. Get the heirs to agree amongst themselves to divide the inheritance in accordance with the wishes of the deceased. Heirs can agree to give their share to others. If they are not physically present, then a Power of Attorney can be had to accomplish this; or
2. Get a foreign judgment validating the will and have it enforced in the UAE. As far as enforcement of judgment is concerned, formalities must be complied with because merits of the case are not usually looked into.(No article found for enforcement of foreign judgment).