Kinda young if you ask me, but heyyyyy I'll take it!!
Dubai appoints 27-year-old as first woman judge
Published: March 27, 2009, 23:11
Dubai: Women can achieve just as much as men, Dubai's first woman judge, Ebtisam Ali Rashid Al Bedwawi, told Gulf News on Thursday.
Ebtisam, 27, became the first woman to work as a judge in the Dubai Courts Department (DCD) after she was sworn in before His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Thursday evening.
"I am very glad and flattered to have attained this honour& I thank President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Shaikh Mohammad, who have always empowered women.
"I don't know yet in which courts I will be working, but this comes as part of a training programme set by DCD's management," said Ebtisam, who holds a bachelor's degree in Sharia and law from UAE University.
Having worked as a legal researcher for the Ministry of Education before her appointment, Ebtisam strongly believes that there is no difference between women and men judges.
"Law studies are the same for both sexes& woman are as capable as men and can serve the judicial sector well. I am grateful for Shaikh Khalifa and Shaikh Mohammad, who placed their trust in me just as they did with other women," said Ebtisam, who attained her master's degree with distinction from Dubai Police Academy.
Judge Mohammad Yousuf, DCD's Deputy Director, congratulated Ebtisam and four other male judges - Salem Al Qaedi, Ayoub Ali Ahli, Mohammad Al Raisi and Ahmad Abdul Wahad Al Ali - who were sworn in.
Judge Yousuf described Ebtisam's appointment as a "tremendous step in the empowerment of women, especially in the judicial sector".
"Yesterday, Shaikh Mohammad also ordered that the annual Judges' Congregation [organised by DCD] be upgraded to become an international forum that will bring in law experts from across the world. His Highness also ordered that the Dubai Mediation Centre be set up at the Dubai Courts Department," he said.
Newly appointed judge Salem Al Qaedi said: "This is great privilege. I'll do my best to live up to this honour."
Al Qaedi, who holds a bachelor's degree in law studies, said: "I worked eight years for the Public Prosecution, which is an authority that litigates and arraigns suspects& now we will be facing more challenges because our responsibility and duty as judges requires us to do more research and work harder. I will try my best to be as loyal, hard-working and pious as possible."
Al Qaedi, married and in his mid 30s, holds a master's degree from Dubai Police Academy.
Ayoub Ali Ahli, who graduated with a bachelor's degree in Sharia and law from UAE University in 1998, was also sworn in as a judge on Thursday evening.
"This is an entrustment more than it is an honour& working as a judge is an elite task that requires thorough study, research and furthering of knowledge. It is not an easy or simple job, but it's a special duty that compels us to judge according to concrete and corroborated evidence," Ahli said.
He thanked Shaikh Mohammad and his family's for their full and continuous support.
Ahli worked for nine years in the Public Prosecution before his appointment as a judge.
A father of three children, he noted: "Working as a judge is a national duty and I will do my best to be up to the challenge."