Saudi Justice Minister Walid al-Samaani said in a TV interview that the specialized legislation announced by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Deputy Premier and Minister of Defense, is a major development that will complete the judiciary system.
“The Crown Prince’s announcement includes reforms of legislative methodology based on the principles of Islamic law, and the latest legal theories and human rights standards,” the minister said.
“Specialized legislation constitutes the binding substantive laws that complement the institutional judiciary, control judicial methodology, and enable prediction of outcomes,” he added, noting that the "judiciary’s role is to apply the law to the facts.”
“The draft Personal Status Law aims to maintain the marital relationship and protect the interests of parents and children. It also regulates divorces in a manner that protects the rights of children and their parents.”
Al-Samaani also noted that, under the draft Penal Law, no punishable offenses are recognized other than those stated in the Law or relevant legislation. In addition, the draft Law adopts alternative sentences and observes human rights standards in all considerations.
“In the past few years, we launched commercial and labor courts and enabled pleading before appellate courts and challenges before the Supreme Court.”
“To alleviate the administrative burden, we have launched tech and operational offices, including the Case Verification Center; and have also launched case preparation centers at the Supreme Court, appellate courts, and several first-instance courts.”
According to the minister, institutional justice depends on several levels: A Supreme Court principle must be observed by appellate and first-instance courts regardless of personal opinions.
The minister also stressed various types of judicial review like subject-matter, procedural, legal, and professional; and highlighted safeguards such as judicial reasoning, legal challenges, and publicity of hearings.
“e-Litigation was launched amid Covid measures, and any operational issues will be overcome this year,” the minister stressed.
“We are also working on artificial intelligence applications, the Model Court project, and an Integrated Case Management System to be rolled out this year.”
“The Notarization Law has established the concept of preventive justice by recognizing various contracts and declarations as enforcement instruments that can be electronically implemented by the enforcement system without any litigation.”
“Under a royal order, no title deed in an approved development plan shall be revoked or suspended: Accountability lies on the person who contributed to title deed errors, excluding those acting in good faith,” the minister asserted.
Al-Samaani also revealed that the ministry will soon launch a property exchange enabling digital trading of property titles through an accurate and reliable platform.
Regarding the development of the notarial sector, the minister said: “Over four million electronic powers of attorney have been issued, and property e-conveyances exceeded two billion riyals with over 25,000 operations."
"By the end of this year, no one will have to visit a notarial office for a notarial operation, if necessary, appearance will be through videoconferencing.”
As for the development of the enforcement system, the minister said that the ministry will launch a virtual enforcement court enabling fully digital procedures from filing an application to the enforcement of the instrument.