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Wed 8 Oct 2008 03:14 AM

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UAE swears in first woman judge

UAE national Khulood Al-Dhaheiri 'a unique experience', says Minister of Presidential Affairs.

Khulood Ahmed Jawan Al-Dhaheri, the first national woman to become a judge in the UAE was sworn in on Tuesday before Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Judiciary Department, official news agency WAM reported.

The agency reported Sheikh Mansour as saying that the appointment of the UAE's first female judge came as part of the comprehensive reforms currently taking place at the Judiciary Department and in continuation of the policy aimed at increasing women's participation in society.

"The appointment of a woman judge is certainly a unique experience in the UAE. The Department will provide all necessary support to the Khulood who made history by becoming the first woman judge in the country," Sheikh Mansour added.

He wished her success in her new post and urged her to discharge responsibilities in administering justice without fear or favour and to strictly adhere to standards of fairness and neutrality, noting that no one is above the law, WAM said.

"Impartiality is one of the main features of UAE's judiciary system. All people are equal before the law which is upheld without any prejudice or injustice."

He expressed the hope that more UAE nationals will join the judiciary and called for preparing a well-qualified generation of national judges.

Khulood Al Dhaheri said she was grateful for the confidence accorded to her by Sheikh Mansour and pledged to serve her country in the best way.

"The decision to appoint female judges helps consolidate UAE women's growing role in the public life. The achievements made by the UAE women come with added responsibilities and require them to work harder to prove themselves worthy of the trust given to them by the country's wise leadership," Al-Dhaheir was quoted as saying. 

The swearing-in ceremony was attended by Alal Al-Aboudi, Head of the Court of Cassation and Chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council, Sultan Saeed Al-Badi, Under Secretary of Abu Dhabi Judiciary Department and other officials, WAM said.

UAE court judges are often citizens of other countries.

Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, the first woman High Court judge in England and Wales, was appointed in 1979, the same year Margaret Thatcher became the country's first woman prime minister.

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