JEDDAH: ARAB NEWS
Published — Thursday 16 May 2013
Last update 17 May 2013 9:39 pm
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah has issued a royal decree promoting and appointing 18 judges at the Saudi Court of Grievances.
Shaikh Abdul Aziz Al-Nassar, chairman of the Grievances Court, said the royal order stipulated the promotion of two judges and the appointment of 16 others.
Al-Nassar said the royal order reinforces King Abdullah’s keenness to support and develop the judiciary.
“We highly appreciate the king’s interest and his move to appoint more judges. This will surely help us in removing obstacles we face in the judiciary in general. We thank the king for his efforts to support and upgrade the judiciary, for which the king has created a project entitled “King Abdullah Project for the Development of Judiciary,” he said.
“These appointments will surely help the courts in expediting the disposal of cases. It is our objective that all cases receive fair and diligent review in order to make justice prevail,” he said.
In March, the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) said the Kingdom is in need of more judges despite the appointment of 200 judges annually.
The council is planning to recruit and train 2,000 judges to help meet demand.
Current appointments count for a fifth of graduates of Shariah and Islamic study faculties.
The council had asked Kingdom’s universities to nominate qualified graduates for a judicial career.
Courts and judicial centers are also spread unequally across provinces and cities of the country.
In Riyadh, there are only 45 judges, which is inadequate to meet the demands of its population.
The SJC is developing the country’s judicial system.
It has adopted a draft on judicial and academic career accreditation standards.
It will inform universities of the output needed in the number of study hours, subjects and supporting skills.
Ahmad Jamaan Al-Malki, a lawyer and member of the Arab Lawyers Union, said article 6 of the Saudi Judicial System grants the Supreme Judicial Council the authority to appoint judges and issue selection rules for candidates.
The system’s article 31 stipulates a candidate must be a holder of a Shariah college degree from Saudi Arabia or an equivalent certificate.
The impending shortage of judges is the main reason behind the increased backlog in cases. Court dates can be set up to five months before a hearing.