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In: Yearbook of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law Online

This chapter provides a broad overview of the United Arab Emirates’ (‘UAE’) federal constitution. Through a qualitative analysis of Federal Supreme Court (‘FSC’) data, it provides insight into how the UAE’s judicial system maintains a balance of power between central and federal authorities. Further, it shows how the FSC utilizes a judicial practice of constitutional code-switching to preserve policy and polity stability. This chapter also examines the FSC’s operation within a multi-layered system of laws and customs, to pursue a harmonised federal system that enshrines relatively high degrees of federal autonomy, upholds principles of shariʿa, and supports the UAE’s position as a haven for global capital. Lastly, this chapter also explores limits in the FSC’s ability to act as a mechanism for accountability by restraining jurisdiction over matters involving disciplinary and criminal actions taken against senior public officials.

In: Al-Abhath