Legal reforms deliver justice for all

Legal reforms deliver justice for all

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Saudi Arabia is undergoing a rapid socioeconomic transformation. In order to make this a success, sweeping reforms are needed in the country’s legal system to ensure transparency and justice.

Fortunately, the Kingdom is not lagging in this regard, and in recent years we have witnessed measures aimed at reforming the judicial system.

Several laws have been enacted and amended to ensure speedy justice and boost transparency, enhancing the Kingdom’s global competitiveness and ensuring rights for all.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Monday announced yet another round of sweeping legal reforms to eliminate inconsistency, speed up verdicts and boost the efficiency of the Saudi legal system.

The new laws — the Personal Status Law, Civil Transactions Law, Penal Code for Discretionary Sanctions, and the Law of Evidence — represent a new wave of judicial reforms.

These new laws aim to raise the level of integrity of the judiciary, remove discrepancies, and provide a system of checks and balances.

The reforms will help close loopholes that led to wide discrepancies in rulings and a lack of clarity in rules governing the circumstances of a particular case. All these factors resulted in prolonged litigation and confusion. The new laws ensure clear mechanisms for different types of cases, and offer proper guidelines and procedures that will remove ambiguity and guarantee transparency.

These decisions were taken in view of discrepancies in some rulings that had painful consequences, especially for women, and allowed some to evade their responsibilities.

The Personal Status Law will deal with provisions related to family matters and regulate provisions related to wills and inheritance. The Civil Transactions Law will regulate the relationship between individuals and reduce the litigation period in disputes resulting from mutual transactions.

Of course, the Evidence Law will separate the evidentiary rules regarding civil and commercial transactions between individuals, such as witness testimony, written evidence, digital evidence and other various means of evidence.

The study of the Personal Status Law is currently being completed, one of four draft regulations the authorities are working on. It will be referred to the Council of Ministers and its bodies for study and review according to the legislative principles, in preparation for referral to the Shoura Council.

• Dimah Talal Alsharif is a Saudi legal consultant, head of the health law department at the law firm of Majed Garoub and a member of the International Association of Lawyers. Twitter: @dimah_alsharif

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