2004 News Story

Symposium affirms Shariah as source of Saudi judicial system

The symposium on the Kingdom’s judicial system, organized by the Ministry of Justice, issued a communiqué today at the end of its three-day deliberations in Riyadh. The symposium was attended by about 250 delegates, from overseas as well as all over Saudi Arabia, and featured 82 speakers and 30 research papers covering issues such as the conditions for recruiting new judges, the independence of judicial authorities, standardization of litigation, and the use of computer technology in judicial administration.

The communiqué declared that the symposium had dealt with five main topics:

  1. The symposium stressed the comprehensiveness of Shariah [Islamic Law], its viability at all times and places, and its ability to accommodate new concepts.
  2. Legal procedures should be filed in a manner that supports the individual’s rights, and makes use of modern technology; and penal procedures should reflect human dignity in accordance with Shariah.
  3. Equal rights should be extended to individuals as regards referral to legal aid in all phases of penal lawsuits of a public nature.
  4. Commercial security should be ensured in investment development, in order to contribute to the growth of local and international businesses.
  5. Judges should be fully trained in the judicial systems before beginning their careers.

In the papers submitted, the speakers attested to the following:

(a) The sources of the Kingdom’s justice and its regulations are those of Shariah [Islamic Law].
(b) The Kingdom’s justice and regulations do not preclude the use of the judicial experiences of other nations.
(c) Any judicial system used should be based on principles and constant specialized efforts.
(d) Integration of the Kingdom’s judicial systems is needed in order to render judgments in specialized cases.
(e) The Kingdom’s judicial systems should be in harmony with its commitment towards international regulations concerning investment, crime-fighting, corruption, terrorism, and money laundering.
(f) The Kingdom should be ready concerning issues of international importance that meet the requirement of seeking good and rejecting evil, in accordance with Shariah.
(g) The concerned judicial sectors should maintain mechanisms to preserve individual rights and protect society from crimes.
(h) Both government and private institutions can assist the role of justice in the field of human rights.
(i) Information technology can be of use in all judicial and authentication fields, with continuous extension of training and focus on seeking judicial knowledge.