The constitution of the United Arab Emirates of 1971 created a federal system composed of seven emirates.
Federal constitutions distribute legislative power bet ween the two layers of government. The distribution of legislative power in the federal systems is an important aspect of these constitutions.
The existence of the distribution of legislative power in the federal constitutions and the fact that these constitutions preserve the existence and powers of the two layers of government make it inappropriate and unacceptable to entrust one layer of government with the power to amend the federal constitution.
There is a need i n each federal system for a constitutional amending process that involves the two layers of government in the process or it involves the people directly in approving the amendments.
The procedures of amending federal constitutions are all ways difficult and result in the failure to amend the constitutions i n many occasions. The need to amend the federal constitutions and the difficulty to achieve the amendments require resort to special solutions to accommodate the changing circumstances and to avoid endangering the existence of the federal systems.
The paper analyzes the constitutional amendments in both the U.S. and Canadian Federal Systems in order to understand how difficult it is to achieve the constitutional amendments in these two systems.
The study of the constitutional amendment process in the UAE showed that although the constitution was called a provisional and was meant to last for only five year, after which a permanent constitution was supposed to be adopted, it remained in effect.
The provisional constitution continued in force for nearly twenty five years and is expected to last for many more years to come without any significant change.
Recommendations have been made to cope with the problems and the difficulties of amending the constitution.
The comparative study and the analysis of the practice in the UAE will help us understand the peculiarity of the constitutional amendment in a federal system and will help us meet the needs of constitutional change in the future .
"Constitutional Amendment in the United Arab Emirates,"
Journal Sharia and Law: Vol. 1995:
9, Article 5.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uaeu.ac.ae/sharia_and_law/vol1995/iss9/5