International conference in Riyadh to explore how justice can harness the power of digital transformation

Special International conference in Riyadh to explore how justice can harness the power of digital transformation
The Saudi Ministry of Justice’s Judicial Command Center is a prime example of how the Kingdom is integrating digital technology into its justice system in order to ensure faster, more efficient service to the general public. (Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Justice)
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Updated 05 March 2023

International conference in Riyadh to explore how justice can harness the power of digital transformation

International conference in Riyadh to explore how justice can harness the power of digital transformation
  • Legal experts from around the world are meeting in the Saudi capital for the International Conference on Justice 
  • Saudi Arabia’s judicial services are undergoing digital transformation within the framework of Vision 2030

RIYADH: Over the past decade, the technology sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has grown by leaps and bounds, and with it brought changes that make the lives of Saudi citizens and visitors easier.

Online learning platforms helped children continue their education during the coronavirus pandemic, electronic kiosks aided a million pilgrims in their journey during Hajj 2022 and February’s LEAP tech conference in Riyadh brought tech giants together to discuss the future of technology and AI.

Now, a new conference on the use of digital technologies in the justice sector will explore how the tech and justice fields can merge to increase accessibility and equality in the Kingdom.

The Saudi Ministry of Justice headquarters in Riyadh. (MOJ photo)

The ties between technology and justice will be the focus of the International Conference on Justice in Riyadh, under the theme “Enhancing Access to Justice through the Use of Digital Technologies.”

The two-day event, which starts on Sunday, is being organized by the Saudi Ministry of Justice and will feature judicial leaders and legal experts from over 30 countries as well as 4,000 participants from across the globe.

Distinguished guests will include Tunisian Minister of Justice Leila Jaffal, Undersecretary of the Russian Ministry of Justice Vadim Fedorov and Vice President of the European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation Bostjan Skrelc.

“The conference is being held within the context of the keenness of the Ministry of Justice to exchange knowledge, judicial expertise and legal enrichment with specialists from around the world. It also aims to enhance international cooperation and to keep pace with the latest global judicial trends,” Dr. Walid bin Mohammed Al-Samaani, the Saudi minister of justice, said in an exclusive statement to Arab News.

Saudi Justice Minister of Walid bin Mohammed Al-Samaani. (

“Among the objectives of the conference, we refer to the enhancement of digital capabilities ensuring easy access to justice, consolidation of guarantees within digital judicial applications, being inspired by other countries’ ideas, exchanging experiences and expertise, strengthening relations between countries and establishing partnerships, in addition to highlighting the latest global judicial trends,” he added.

Elaborating on the theme of the conference, Ibrahim Al-Hudaif, a board member of the Saudi-based Axelerated Solutions, told Arab News: “Digitalization is a competitive advantage for nations building up their capacities and will redefine the offering and delivery of services.

“The justice system is a key to building up such competitiveness. Digitalization helps address matters such as limitation of resources, overuse of paper, transparency, better sentencing, commercial transactions, dispute resolution, archiving and retrieval, and virtual courts.”

After discussing the future of justice in light of the world’s digital transformation in the first session, other sessions will discuss various facets of the justice field in an increasingly digital world.

A session titled “Using Artificial Intelligence to Improve Justice” will discuss the importance of data analysis to improve justice, methods of predicting judicial rulings and the future of data analysis in the justice sector.

Dr. Khalid Al-Akwa’a, a consultant on quality and excellence, told Arab News that artificial intelligence “can be used in matters of inheritance and the ‎automation of programs dedicated to dividing the inheritance estate among the heirs with high quality, away from personal jurisprudence‎.”

He added: “The judicial sector is constantly expanding in benefiting from artificial intelligence ‎applications and deploying them to all employees in order to provide better ‎services and achieve higher professional practices, taking advantage of the regulations and laws keeping pace with technological developments in order to ‎achieve the common goals of dealers in the sector in general.”

The conference will touch on the future of mediation work in light of digital transformation in a session titled “The Future of Alternative Dispute Resolution in Digital Transformation.” The same discussion will examine the potential of digital development in alternative resolutions to disputes as well as the future of digital technology in dispute resolution.

“The Kingdom attaches great importance to alternative means of dispute settlement in light of the digital transformation because of its important role in ‎reducing the flow of ‎lawsuits to the courts‎,” Imad Alsaedi, director of the Saudi Journalists Association in Madinah, told Arab News.

“‎Wise leadership pays great attention to the justice sector, spares no effort to empower and support it, and to prepare all means for its development to ‎achieve ‎prompt justice‎,” he said.

Alsaedi said that work was underway to enhance sustainability and accessibility of judicial services, as well as to increase their quality.

“The ‎recent period witnessed the amendment of many legislations and ‎justice systems to ‎achieve the Kingdom’s vision and facilitate attracting ‎investments‎,” he said.

In his statement, Justice Minister Al-Samaani said the conference would bring together “an elite group of legal persons and experts to discuss strategies on digital transformation, artificial intelligence, and international expertise in the judicial sector.”

“The Kingdom, led by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and Prime Minister Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, is witnessing a qualitative leap in technical development and digital transformation in justice and judicial services within the framework of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.”

Al-Samaani explained that the Ministry of Justice already provides more than 150 electronic services in the fields of justice, documentation, enforcement and reconciliation, among others.

Al-Hudaif said the success of the Najiz online platform is evident in that it “offers a wide range of services such as real estate transactions, notary service, and more. Such platforms have saved citizens and residents time and effort.”

Ibrahim Al-Hudaif

“The digital infrastructure in the Kingdom has a significant role in digitizing justice services and facilitating access to them, as well as improving the beneficiaries’ quality of life by means of saving time and effort and completing their transactions in a quick and accurate manner, while preserving all guarantees,” he said.

According to Al-Samaani, as of November, more than 90 percent of the Kingdom’s judicial services were completely digitalized, compared with only 15 percent seven years before. Saudi courts have held more than 5 million remote judicial sessions and issued more than 2 million digital court rulings.

Over the past seven years, the Ministry of Justice has launched about 40 initiatives, including one to support the digital justice system. These also aim to simulate economic development by hosting justice services in a secure, reliable and controlled cloud environment, using advanced technologies to ensure round-the-clock availability of these services for beneficiaries in all major work streams within the ministry.

Last year, the Ministry of Justice was honored by Saudi Arabia’s Digital Government Authority as the fastest agency to digitalize its work.

Hassan Al Sarhan

“‎The MoJ issued more than 12 million electronic powers of attorney, and the electronic transfer of real estate ownership now takes less than an hour‎,” Al-Samaani said.

“Within the framework of developing the institutional structure of the judiciary, the MoJ reached the digitization of 100 percent of judicial services. In 2023, beneficiaries will not need to visit notaries, as all the main services will be provided 100 percent remotely.”

Other officials stressed the importance of digitalization in service fields such as the justice sector.

“‎Digital transformation is one of the necessities for the service sector, which seeks to develop and improve its services and facilitate their access to beneficiaries,” Hassan Al-Sarhan, general manager for quality and operational excellence at the National Environmental Compliance, told Arab News.

“‎Digital transformation does not only mean applying technology within the organization. Rather, it is a comprehensive and complete program in the organization by providing services and making them easier and faster.

“Therefore, there is clear pressure from all segments of society on organizations to improve their services and their availability on all digital channels.”


How Saudi artists are embracing cultural heritage through craftsmanship

How Saudi artists are embracing cultural heritage through craftsmanship
Updated 12 sec ago

How Saudi artists are embracing cultural heritage through craftsmanship

How Saudi artists are embracing cultural heritage through craftsmanship

RIYADH: Saudi craftsmanship and family legacies are being kept alive through weaving and creative works.

Contemporary weaver Hana Almilli explores patterns of sadu weaving, creating masterpieces with a traditional twist.

Almilli told Arab News: “In a world that is constantly evolving, being a part of the few who are actively preserving tradition while exploring their artistry feels like a meaningful contribution. It’s a testament to the enduring value of heritage and the capacity of art to transcend time and space.”

Sadu weaving is an ancient tribal weaving craft that artistically portrays Arabian nomadic people’s rich cultural heritage.

As a multimedia artist and arts and culture management professional, Almilli said she feels a sense of duty in keeping traditions alive, “not only for my family, but also for generations to come to be able to keep histories through tangible assemblages.”

Through the earth, I come back home by Hana Almilli. (Supplied)

While in her third year studying abroad for a bachelor’s degree in architecture, Almilli had an epiphany that would soon change her educational track.

She said: “I wanted to delve into my artistic practice and also regain the textile practice that was always a part of my childhood. I decided to take a knitting course to regain the memories I had with my grandmother when I was little, as she was a knitter and loved crocheting as well.”

Almilli then switched to studying a bachelor’s degree in textiles.

“I knew this was what I wanted to do for my degree. Something that is a form of revival of heritage was a revival of my nostalgia and healing,” she said.

It was during this time that Almilli dived deep into researching her Saudi heritage.

“I am a Saudi. When I traveled abroad for my studies, I felt alienated and longed for my home, family, friends and life. I wanted to feel close while I was far away. Whether researching patterns, looking for books about Saudi, Sadu weaving, or indirectly incorporating it within my work through contemporary patterns, it will always exist in my work in some form,” she said.

She graduated from California College of the Arts in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in textiles with a minor in creative writing.

In 2022, she received a master’s degree in arts and culture management from Rome Business School in Italy.

Belonging to Turkish, Syrian, Kurdish and Saudi lineage, Almilli’s path is persuaded by “questions of identity.”

She said: “Enquiring perpetual alienation, my ideology developed into discovering and representing the term Al-Ghorba (estrangement in a foreign land). Consequently, my visual structure interrogates nostalgia through weaving, dyeing, embroidering and photography techniques.

“My art practice is research-based, and within it, I explore the idea of recreating affected and rediscovering identities through the material culture of textiles and assemblages,” she added.

Almilli said her work is driven by memory, nostalgia, identity, emotion and more.

“Those elements always combine to create a curiosity to research my heritage further and write poetry pieces in response, which eventually leads to visualizations of my works,” she said.

“It is something I hold close to my heart, and which I take immense pride in. Being able to intertwine tradition with my artistic expression is a truly rewarding experience. It’s like breathing life into the past while simultaneously creating something new and innovative.”

The art of weaving, Sadu, has been added to UNESCO’s Intangible Heritage list.

The Saudi Heritage Commission told Arab News that it strives to launch programs aimed at preserving and highlighting Saudi culture.

“These programs and projects promote three main values and goals, which are: Enhancing awareness among citizens of the importance of heritage, establishing rules and regulations and issuing licenses, and protecting the portfolio of cultural wealth and archaeological sites, and managing them effectively,” the commission said.

The Heritage Commission launched six projects that highlight elements of intangible heritage. One of the projects involves preparing intangible heritage files for registration on UNESCO lists.

“From this standpoint comes the importance of preserving the intangible cultural heritage with its cultural components. Therefore, the Heritage Authority works, through its strategy to develop the sector, to align with the goals of Saudi Vision 2030.”

This article originally appeared on Arab News Japan

Saudi traditional arts institute enhances cultural heritage

Saudi traditional arts institute enhances cultural heritage
Updated 21 min 23 sec ago

Saudi traditional arts institute enhances cultural heritage

Saudi traditional arts institute enhances cultural heritage

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Royal Institute of Traditional Arts recently participated in the 93rd National Day activities by organizing programs that align with its core responsibilities of preserving living treasures, offering training and education, and promoting traditional arts.

The institute presented handmade candles that depicted traditional inscriptions from various regions of the Kingdom. These inscriptions included Najdi patterns, Al-Qatt Al-Asiri, Al-Sadu, and Al-Hasawi patterns, serving as an homage to the diverse cultural heritage of different parts of the country.

In addition to the art programs in Historic Jeddah, the institute presented a collection of gifts to visitors and conducted a series of high-quality workshops in various disciplines.

These workshops covered topics such as drawing and coloring traditional geometric patterns, the process of wood design, and creating traditional designs inspired by the homes of Jeddah Al-Balad.

Suzanne Al-Yahya, CEO of the Royal Institute of Traditional Arts, said that Saudi Arabia’s traditional artistic heritage reflects the diversity and wealth of the country’s cultural heritage.

“The institute works to enhance the rich and distinctive cultural heritage of traditional arts and related artistic works, preserve their authenticity, and support national capabilities and talents as well as their practitioners. encouraging those who are interested to study, practice, and grow in it.”

The Royal Institute of Traditional Arts, chaired on an honorary basis by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, promotes and supports traditional arts. It offers education and training, aims to preserve and raise awareness of national treasures, and enhances their visibility globally.

National Day festivities entertain millions in Kingdom

National Day festivities entertain millions in Kingdom
Updated 24 September 2023

National Day festivities entertain millions in Kingdom

National Day festivities entertain millions in Kingdom
  • Maraya Concert Hall in AlUla shines spotlight on beauty of Arabian horses

RIYADH: Fireworks illuminated the skies of Saudi Arabia on the 93rd National Day, as millions of people gathered in various locations across the country on Saturday evening to enjoy the artistic shows organized by the General Entertainment Authority.

Citizens and residents who gathered to witness the fireworks also had the opportunity to enjoy a diverse range of other displays and events, including drone shows.

The celebrations were held in Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, Alkhobar, Al-Ahsa, Buraidah, Abha, Madinah, Hail, Tabuk, Baha, Sakaka, Jazan, Najran, Taif, Arar, and other cities.

In Boulevard Riyadh City, billboards displayed images of King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and the Kingdom’s flag.

In celebration of National Day, the people of AlUla gathered at the Maraya Concert Hall, where Arabian horses, which have long occupied a special place in the lives of Saudis, were put on display, accompanied by riders in traditional Saudi attire.

Meanwhile, Riyadh witnessed a spectacular military show, commencing with a parade featuring the participation of the Presidency of the Saudi Royal Guard, the Ministry of National Guard, and the General Directorate of Border Guard.

The parade featured a horse-mounted march and a musical performance by the Honor Guard, and culminated with the hoisting of the Saudi flag by helicopter, signifying the start of the aerial display.

Twelve Apache and Black Hawk helicopters, belonging to the Ministry of National Guard, took part in the aerial show, followed by the distinguished Saudi Falcons aerobatic team.

The Royal Saudi Air Force also presented impressive displays during the event, featuring aircraft such as Typhoon, F-15 S, Tornado, and F-15 C.

Along the coasts of the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf, the Royal Saudi Navy held maritime processions and shows in both the Eastern and Western fleets.

The aerial displays will continue across the Kingdom’s skies at multiple locations until they culminate in a performance over Jouf on Oct. 2.

Saudi aid chief joins high-level session on bridging humanitarian funding gap at UNGA sidelines

Saudi aid chief joins high-level session on bridging humanitarian funding gap at UNGA sidelines
Updated 24 September 2023

Saudi aid chief joins high-level session on bridging humanitarian funding gap at UNGA sidelines

Saudi aid chief joins high-level session on bridging humanitarian funding gap at UNGA sidelines

NEW YORK: Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, advisor to the Saudi Royal Court and supervisor-general of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center, participated in a high-level meeting on bridging the humanitarian funding gap.

Al-Rabeeah attended the meeting with Martin Griffiths, UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator.

The session was organized by Saudi Arabia, Sweden and the EU, in the presence of a number of countries and representatives of humanitarian organizations on the sidelines of the 78th UN General Assembly in New York City.

It was also attended by Swedish Minister for International Cooperation, Development and Foreign Trade Johan Vore Sell, and Janez Lennar Schich, EU commissioner for crisis management, in a session moderated by Lisa Doten from the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Al-Rabeeah said that humanitarian efforts must be combined in order to expand the scope of donor countries, bodies and individuals, and raise the level of coordination and impact of humanitarian aid, so that the work is more effective.

He noted that Saudi Arabia annually launches the annual Kingdom’s “Gift of Dates” campaign in partnership with the World Food Programme for an amount exceeding $136 million, which benefits 72 countries around the world.

Al-Rabeeah said KSrelief has supported the global response to COVID-19 crisis by providing vaccines, medical devices, medicines and care units.

He also focused on providing financial support, encouraging the provision of motivating countries and donors to provide whatever in-kind and financial resources they can.

OIC chief holds talks with foreign ministers in New York

OIC chief holds talks with foreign ministers in New York
Updated 24 September 2023

OIC chief holds talks with foreign ministers in New York

OIC chief holds talks with foreign ministers in New York

RIYADH: Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Hissein Brahim Taha recently met Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani.

The two officials met on the sidelines of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly in New York.

The discussions focused on the relations between the OIC and Pakistan, as well as important topics on the OIC agenda such as the Palestinian issue, the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, and efforts to combat Islamophobia.

Gilani expressed appreciation for OIC’s important role in defending these causes.

In a separate meeting, Taha also held talks with Danish Foreign Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen who told him that his country proposed a law criminalizing the desecration of holy books.

Taha also engaged in discussions with Danish Foreign Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen. During the meeting, Rasmussen informed Taha about Denmark’s proposal to enact a law that would criminalize the desecration of holy books.

Taha reiterated the OIC’s stance on acts such as the burning and desecration of copies of the Holy Qur’an, as outlined in the decision of the 18th extraordinary session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers.

He emphasized that the organization urges relevant countries to implement measures aimed at preventing the recurrence of such behavior.

Taha also praised the step taken by Denmark in this regard.

The OIC chief also had a meeting with Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and discussed enhancing cooperation between the OIC and Iran, as well as strategies to strengthen joint Islamic efforts.

They also addressed various topics of mutual concern, including the Palestinian cause, the situation in Afghanistan, and the OIC’s initiatives to combat Islamophobia.