Eavesdropping: Penalty in UAE

Posted by Al Rowaad Advocates & Legal Consultants on November 17th, 2021

Little do you know, someone somewhere might be recording your conversation or has appointed a private detective to stalk you or has taken your pictures without your permission. What do you think is common in all these activities, I am sure “without your consent and knowledge” is what you are thinking as well. Obviously, no one likes to be followed, recorded or stalked and more importantly it’s a criminal offense in most states. Well, lets talk about UAE.

The country is famous for its skyline and more so for its stringent rules and regulations obliging all citizens and residents to behave in accordance with the laws established by the country’s government. The act of eavesdropping or stalking is without a doubt, a criminal offense and is punishable under Federal Law number 3 of 1987. In reference to the foregoing, Article 378 of the Criminal Law recently amended Federal Law 34 of 2005 imposes penalty by way of detention or fine on a person who prejudices the privacy of any other individual or his family by committing any of the following activities:

  • Eavesdrop, record, transmit any private conversation by phone to any other device;
  • Click a picture or a video of any other person in a private place without consent through any device.

The adoption of new technological devices available in the market for recording or capturing personal moments of any individual or his family. The usage of these devices are becoming difficult with growing technology and most of the times a man is unaware of the fact that he is committing a crime leading to payment of fine or facing detention. In general, we may face two potential questions in these circumstances is why eavesdropping or recording someone is a crime and secondly, why any recording cant be used as an evidence before the court of law.

Primarily, as a constitutional right, it is important to preserve the privacy of every individual of the country without having any biasness. Therefore, recording and eavesdropping are considered a breach of privacy due to the missing element of “consent” in such activities. The second question is more so connected with the first as if an activity is considered as a crime under Criminal law, it is obvious that whatever was captured by the particular individual, even if it was to establish a fact or to disclose any crime, it will still be considered as breach of privacy and will not be accepted before the court of law as a piece of evidence.

The criminal courts of dubai and other Emirates have issued multiple judgments in these regards and have more often rejected any such evidence taken or recorded without the permission of the other individual thereby protecting the constitutional right granted to all individuals of the country.

Albeit, some particular acts of recording and capturing are well known as criminal activities in general public, yet most residents are confused about the procedural and technical aspects of these legislations and usually find themselves in an illegal event. Therefore, when in doubt about a criminal act, approach the Best Criminal Lawyers of Dubai.

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Al Rowaad Advocates & Legal Consultants

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Al Rowaad Advocates & Legal Consultants
Joined: February 3rd, 2021
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