UAE court: Wife, child 'discipline' cannot leave marks

Gulf state's highest judicial body says makes ruling in case of man who left cuts and bruises on his wife and adult daughter after beating.

October 18, 2010 13:22
WOMEN PRAY at the Islamic Society of Colorado Spri

Arab women praying311. (photo credit: Illustrative photo: Colorado Springs Gazette/MCT)

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — The UAE's highest judicial body ruled recently that a man can beat his wife and young children as long as the beating leaves no physical marks.

The decision by the Federal Supreme Court shows the strong influence of Islamic law in the Emirates despite its international appeal in which foreign residents greatly outnumber the local population.

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The court made the ruling earlier this month in the case of a man who left cuts and bruises on his wife and adult daughter after a beating.

It said the man was guilty of harming the women but noted that Islamic codes allow for "discipline" if no marks are left. It also said children who have reached "adulthood" — approximately puberty — cannot be struck.

The ruling was reported Monday in the Abu Dhabi-based newspaper The National.

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