Saudi Crown Prince Announces 4 New Laws to Reform Kingdom’s Judicial Institutions

Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy prime minister, minister of defense and chairman of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs (CEDA), affirmed that the Kingdom would continue to consolidate the gains made since the approval of the Kingdom's Vision 2030.

HRH Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud stated that in the past few years, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has taken serious steps towards developing its legislative environment.

These steps include adopting new laws and reforming existing ones.

They are meant to preserve rights, entrench the principles of justice, transparency, protect human rights and achieve comprehensive and sustainable development, which reinforces the global competitiveness of the Kingdom based on procedural and institutional references that are objective and clearly identified.

HRH the Crown Prince emphasized that the draft Personal Status Law, which is being finalized, is one of four draft laws that the relevant entities are preparing.

HRH clarified that these draft laws will then be submitted to the Council of Ministers and its bodies for review and consideration, in accordance with the legislative process, and in preparation for submission to the Shura Council, pursuant to its law.

These laws will then be promulgated pursuant to the legislative laws.

HRH the Crown Prince stated that the Personal Status Law, the Civil Transactions Law, the Penal Code for Discretionary Sentences, and the Law of Evidence will represent a new wave of reforms that will contribute to the ability to predict court decisions, increase the level of integrity and efficiency of judicial institutions, and increase the reliability of procedures and oversight mechanisms as cornerstones in achieving the principles of justice, clarifying the lines of accountability and ensuring the consistency of legal references in a manner that limits discrepancies in courts decisions.

“The absence of applicable legislations has led to discrepancies in decisions and a lack of clarity in the principles governing facts and practices,” HRH the Crown Prince noted.

“That resulted in prolonged litigation not based on legal texts.  In addition, the absence of a clear legal framework for private and business sectors has led to ambiguity with respect to obligations,” the crown prince added.

“This was painful for many individuals and families, especially women, permitting some to evade their responsibilities. This will not take place again once these laws are promulgated pursuant to legislative laws and procedures.”

HRH also noted that a few years ago, a draft known as “the Code of Judicial Decisions” was crafted, but careful review revealed it was insufficient in terms of meeting society’s needs and expectations.

Therefore, it was decided to draft these four laws, adopting in them the current legal and judicial international judicial practices and standards in a manner that does not contradict Sharia principles, taking into consideration the Kingdom’s commitments under international conventions and treaties.

HRH noted that the process of developing the judicial system in the Kingdom is a continuous process, and that these laws will be announced consecutively this year.

HRH Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud expressed his thanks for the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud on his guidance and on his keenness to secure the rights of the citizens and residents and to safeguard the interests of all of those in the territory of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.