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UAE plans to adapt anti-corruption law

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) [official website; JURIST news archive] plans to adopt a new anti-corruption law to comply with the UN Convention against Corruption [text, PDF]. The new plan will be created by the state's Audit Bureau which is the sole authority for fighting corruption and has the role of safeguarding public funds and curbing financial malpractices. Hareb bin Saeed Al Amimi, the chairman of the bureau, called all departments to cooperate in implementing the new plan. The UAE has one of the lowest corruption rates in the developing world, according to Emirates 24/7 [media website]. For example, although during the fiscal year of 2007-2008 there have been reports of corruption amounting to nearly Dh 300 million (USD $81 million), most of the funds were recovered while the number of corruption incidents decreased significantly.

Other countries have also been drafting anti-corruption legislation. In November Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) [NYT backgrounder] announced [JURIST report] an amendment to its criminal law that would punish anyone who contributed to the corruption of politics and damaged the interests of the nation. This law will also apply to officials [JURIST report] including those who are elected into office. This amendment, however, was criticized [JURIST report] by the Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] for its potential abuse allowing authorities to imprison anyone who is involved "political corruption," which is vaguely defined and deprive them from running for office.

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