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Saudi Arabia… More Than Reforms

Saudi Arabia… More Than Reforms

Wednesday, 10 February, 2021 - 10:00
Salman Al-Dossary
Salman Al-Dossary is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

For four years now, the pace of reforms in Saudi Arabia has not stopped. This time, it knocked on the Judiciary’s door, with the announcement by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of a new legislative system that is expected to bring about a comprehensive development in the justice sector and consolidate its institutions and independence.

This move is a tremendous human rights shift in the Saudi legal environment and a historic step that is tantamount to establishing a new era of judicial reforms.

To a non-specialist, these changes may seem only general amendments, not major reforms. In reality, they contribute to the promotion and maintenance of the rights of all individuals and entities and the predictability of rulings.

This would boost confidence in the Saudi judicial system, as well as in the business environment, and promote human rights - especially the rights of women and children - by codifying, publishing and clarifying personal status provisions, ending the discretionary power of the judge, not to mention expediting the resolution of disputes, increasing trust in commercial contracts and obligations, and creating an adequate legal environment that attracts capital.

The Kingdom, which has made great strides in its comprehensive reforms during the past four years, is moving towards a new massive workshop, through which it would build solid principles that contribute to achieving modernization and development.

Reforms in the judicial system were not imported from abroad, but rather stemmed from the provisions of Islamic law by taking into account developments and changes. The Kingdom has also benefitted from the best international experiences and comparative laws.

The judicial reform will have many positive repercussions for all members of society, as well as commercial entities and investors, whether by stabilizing financial rights, organizing economic movement, or facilitating economic decisions and stimulating foreign investment. It will also contribute to curbing judicial costs and financial expenditures resulting from the multiplicity of cases and disputes brought forward before the courts and the subsequent recourse to experts from all disciplines to settle disputes.

The Kingdom’s reforms stem from within and are based on the clear vision of its leadership. Thus, Saudi Arabia has developed concepts of protecting human rights according to its own vision. Judicial legislation seeks to clarify the rights and duties of community members, and consolidate the principles of justice and equality. These legislations also explain the legal status of all family members and their respective rights and duties, thus limiting judicial disputes.

All these reforms are aimed at achieving social stability, improving the situation of the family and children and increasing the sense of justice and the people’s confidence in judicial rulings. The ensuing transformations, laws and legislations represent a source of strength for the protection of human rights in the Kingdom.

During the recent participation of Prince Mohammed bin Salman in a strategic dialogue session within the activities of the World Economic Forum, he stressed that the Kingdom’s previous achievements, according to Vision 2030, came within the framework of accelerated transformation and reforms in the past four years, and that these reforms would double in the next ten years.

Seeing the great achievements the Kingdom has made in only four years, can you imagine the horizons it would reach if it doubled its reforms in the next decade?!

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