The Saudi legal system has been witnessing many developments since the beginning of the year as the Ministry of Justice has executed plans and projects towards developing the sector and enhance the level of performance of its entities.
There are a number of milestones that can be highlighted during the past 12 months, which left a huge impact on the quality and performance of the legal sector.
Launching labor courts:
Labor courts were launched in November 2018, marking a new era of specialized judiciary in Saudi Arabia, where workers and employers alike can refer to those specialized courts in order to resolve possible disputes arising at a work place. The introduction of labor courts came with a new structure that helped organize and create systematic procedures, building a clear process between the Ministry of Justice with the Ministry of Labor and other relevant entities.
Visual documentation of hearing sessions:
The visual recording of court hearings sessions was announced officially five months ago, starting with the criminal courts in Riyadh with the plan to expand. This type of documentation has given a boost to judges and legal staff, helping retrieve and revise those sessions in order to make more sound judgments and rulings.
The ministry has given special attention to employing women in the legal sector. It has opened positions for women as notaries for the first time. This makes them officially able to hold this title and position under the ministry as government employees.
The ministry has also enrolled women in various positions, licensed many female lawyers to practice law and generally boosted the female presence inside the legal sector.
Digital notarizations and PoA:
One of the most significant steps taken by the ministry was the launch of digital notarization services, helping clients issue, check and revoke PoAs at a click of a button, sparing them many trips to courts and notarial offices.
Launch of alimony fund:
A great step towards boosting family courts, the official launch of the alimony fund more than six months ago is helping many families with children receive the financial support they need without having to wait for trials or court decisions in alimony related cases.
Opening centers for custody and visitation:
The ministry’s launch of 47 centers for custody and visitation is certainly a bonus for families and family courts. Well equipped centers ensure divorced parents are committed to regularly seeing their kids and provide the necessary social support and advice through those centers.
New structure for reconciliation and mediation:
The launch of a new structure for the reconciliation and mediation system through mediation offices is one of the most important steps towards offering alternative ways to resolving disputes. Allowing qualified individuals to be mediators and considering mediation reports as enforceable documents will surely help many parties in dispute consider alternative resolutions before taking their cases to courts.
Saudi Arabia’s improved global ranking:
The development in the legal sector in Saudi Arabia contributed to pushing the country’s ranking in a number of global indexes. Saudi Arabia has made excellent progress according to World Bank global index in ease of doing business, as well as protecting minority investors index. The IMD global competitiveness year book 2019 has also highlighted the significant progress in Saudi Arabia’s economy due to continuous reforms which made the country climb 13 positions among global economies.
The IMF mission to Saudi Arabia in May 2019 saw also potential growth in the country’s economy and GDP for 2020 due to development in non-oil sectors.