The Federal Supreme Court in the United Arab Emirates has ruled that a man can beat his wife and young children as long as no marks are left, The National newspaper reports.
The court ruled that “a man has the right to discipline his wife and children provided he does not leave physical marks”, the Abu Dhabi-owned newspaper reported in its online edition on Monday.
“Although the (law) permits the husband to use his right (to discipline), he has to abide by the limits of this right,” it quoted Chief Justice Falah al-Hajeri as having written in a ruling released in a court document on Sunday.
The court ruled that a man who “slapped and kicked his daughter and slapped his wife” violated his “right” under sharia, or Islamic law, to discipline his wife and children, as he beat his wife too severely and his daughter, aged 23, was too old for such discipline, the newspaper said.
The UAE is less conservative than some Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia, where women cannot drive and need a male guardian’s permission to travel.
But Islamic religious law remains a part of the legal framework in the UAE, which also has secular laws.