The Supreme Court of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has ruled that a man has the right to discipline his wife and young children as long as the beating leaves no physical marks.
The judgment was made in the case of a man who slapped and kicked his 23-year-old daughter and slapped his wife.
The wife suffered injuries to her lower lip and teeth, and the daughter had bruises on her right hand and right knee.
The court also ruled that the bruises were evidence that the father had abused his Sharia right.
"Although the [law] permits the husband to use his right [to discipline], he has to abide by the limits of this right," the National quoted Chief Justice Falah al-Hajeri, as saying in a court document.
"If the husband abuses this right to discipline, he cannot be exempted from punishment," he added.
The court further ruled that a father does not have the right to beat his children after they become adults.
"He is not allowed, according to Sharia, to beat his daughter, who is 23 years old," the Chief Justice said.
Sharjah Court of First Instance had fined the father Dh500 for the abuse.
The decision was upheld by the Sharjah Court of Appeals, following which the man had approached the Federal Supreme Court.