The Legislative System of the United Arab Emirates

The Constitution of the UAE is a national document that defines the core rules of the political system in the country, and details the legislative, executive, and judicial competencies governing the Union and the members emirates of the Union. The Constitution affirms freedoms, rights and public responsibilities of citizens, and aims to enhance the progress and development of the Country and the People to reach the rightful position among the world’s leading nations.
The legislative system of the United Arab Emirates is comprised of the Constitution, federal laws, federal decrees by law, federal decrees, resolutions of the President of the UAE, resolutions of the Prime Minister, Cabinet resolutions, and ministries and federal entities’ decisions and circulars.

The Constitution

is the body of legal rules that govern the operation of the state and define its form, political system, authorities, and clarifies the relations between the authorities; It also defines the rights, freedoms, and public responsibilities of community members.

Federal laws

are the main implementation tool of the Constitution’s provisions. They regulate matters of strategic importance in the UAE, and regulate the relations between the State and its institutions, the State and its institutions with individuals, and among individuals.

Decrees by law

are issued 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 by law, which shall have the force of law if they are not inconsistent with the Constitution. 

Federal decrees

are issued by the President of the UAE after approval from the Cabinet and ratification from the President of the UAE or the Supreme Council of the Union, each according to its competence.

Resolutions of the President of the UAE and resolutions of the Prime Minister

are legislation in the form of resolutions issued by the President of the UAE or the Prime Minister.

Cabinet resolutions

are resolutions issued by the Cabinet within the competencies assigned to the Cabinet by the Constitution or the law. They are issued to ensure the implementation of federal laws such as the executive regulations and the implementing regulatory decisions thereof. Cabinet resolutions do not regulate matters that falls within the competencies of the relevant minister of head of the relevant government entity; however, they may include decisions regulating the work of the government to ensure that the ministries and federal entities are working within the scope of their competencies through the issuance of the executive regulations and the implementing regulatory decisions.

Decisions and circulars issued by ministries and federal entities

are the executive regulations and the implementing regulatory decisions issued by the relevant minister or undersecretary, or the managing director of the relevant federal entity within their scope of jurisdiction and in line with the provisions of the legislation in force, to implement laws and executive regulations and regulate the work of the relevant ministry or federal entity.