Electronic Marriage Contracts System
Source in Arabic: ESCWA-OECD Case Study – Electronic Marriage Contracts System, UAE
The electronic marriage contracts system aims to automate and document marriage procedures, as it allows online users with digital identifications to request, trace and obtain marriage contracts from the court electronically. This system provides smart e-services that serve in supporting the digital transformation of the United Arab Emirates.
The Ministry of Justice developed this system in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and Prevention, and the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, and in coordination with the Ministry of Possibilities.
This system mainly aims to integrate digital transformation into Sharia courts, and automate and document marriage procedures and contracts, which contributes to improving the related public services that benefit the people and the state.
The system enables users to submit their online requests for services, as well as to track them throughout all stages. It also allows applicants to access the website using their digital identity, and to choose an authorized marriage official from the list available on the website, and the appropriate time to complete the marriage contract. This process interconnects the two parties without direct intervention from the court. Moreover, the system has contributed to the continuous provision of Sharia court services in terms of marriage contracts during the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, the Ministry has published all data related to marriage and divorce through the open data link on its website.
Users and beneficiaries of this system include citizens, Sharia court employees, judges and legal officials, in addition to several strategic partners, including the Marriage Fund, the Ministry of Community Development, the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, the General Pensions and Social Security Authority, and statistics centres.
The system has achieved a leap in the work of Sharia courts, as it contributed to automating procedures and providing smart e-services to applicants for marriage contracts. The usage of the service reached 94 per cent in 2020, up from 55 per cent in 2019, which contributed to adaption to the response measures applied during Covid-19 pandemic. Furthermore, the system was applied to all federal Sharia courts in the country and have engaged various users.
One of the main challenges faced in this project was the difficulty in directing applicants to use the e-service instead of opting for the traditional form, as well as encouraging workers in the field to embrace the change in their work style. The usage ratio was low in the early stages of the launching, prompting the ministry to intensify marketing operations and raise awareness of the e- service through social media, in addition to conducting training sessions.