Majlis Ash-Shura Law

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Fahd Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, issued a Royal Decree embodying the Majlis Ash-Shura Law. The following is the text of the Decree:

 

  In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful

No. A/91.

Dated 27/08/1412 H

 

With the help of God, We, Fahd Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Monarch of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in compliance with the words of God, “Consult them on the affair,” and His other words, “Their affairs are carried out in consultation among themselves,” and following the Sunna of His Messenger (PBUH) who consulted his companions, and after taking cognizance of the previous Shura (Consultative) Council of 1347H., order the following:

 

•  The promulgation of Majlis Ash-Shura Law in the attached text,

•  That this Law shall replace Majlis Ash-Shura Law issued in the Year 1347H and that affairs of the Council shall be arranged according to Royal Decree,

•  That all laws, orders and resolutions in force at the time of promulgation shall remain valid until they are amended to comply with this Law,

•  That this Law shall come into force within a period not exceeding six months effective from the date of its publication,

•  That this Law shall be published in the Official Gazette.




MAJLIS ASH-SHURA LAW

Article 1 :

In compliance with Almighty God's words:

“It is part of the mercy of God that thou dost deal gently with them. Wert thou severe or harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about thee: so pass over (their faults) and ask for (God's) forgiveness for them; and consult them in affairs (of moment). Then, when thou hast taken a decision, put thy trust in God. For God loves those who put their trust (in Him.)” (III, 159)

and His other words,

“Those who respond to their Lord, and establish regular prayer, who (conduct) their affairs by mutual consultation; who spend out of what we bestow on them for sustenance.” (XL, 38)

and following the Sunna of His Messenger (PBUH) who consulted his Companions and urged the

Nation to engage in consultation, Majlis Ash-Shura shall be established to exercise all tasks

entrusted to it according to this Law and the Basic Law of Governance while adhering to the

Book of God and the Sunna of the Messenger (PBUH), maintaining brotherly ties and

cooperating in kindness and piety.

 

Article 2 :

Majlis Ash-Shura shall keep to the Book of God and pledge itself to the sources of Islamic

legislation. All members of the Council shall serve the public interests, and shall preserve the

unity of the community, the entity of the State and the interest of the Nation.

 

Article 3 :

Majlis Ash-Shura shall consist of a chairman and sixty members chosen by the King from amongst scholars and men of knowledge, expertise and specialization. Their rights, duties and all other affairs shall be defined by Royal Decree.

 

Article 4 :

It is stipulated that every member of Majlis Ash-Shura shall be:

•  A Saudi national by birth and descent,

•  A competent person of recognized good character,

•  Not younger than 30 years of age.

 

Article 5 :

Any member may submit a request to resign his membership to the Chairman of Majlis Ash-Shura, who in turn shall refer it to the King.

 

Article 6 :

If a member of Majlis Ash-Shura has neglected the duties of his work, he shall be investigated and tried according to rules and measures to be issued by Royal Decree.

 

Article 7 :

If a member's place in Majlis Ash-Shura becomes vacant for any reason the King shall choose a replacement and issue a Royal Decree to this effect.

 

Article 8 :

No member of the Majlis Ash-Shura may exploit his membership for his own interest.

 

Article 9 :

The membership of Majlis Ash-Shura may not be combined with any governmental post, or with the management of any company, unless the need for such an exception arises and the King deems it necessary.

 

Article 10 :

The Chairman, a deputy and a secretary general of Majlis Ash-Shura shall be appointed and relieved by Royal Decrees. Their salaries, duties and all their other affairs shall be defined by Royal Decree.

 

Article 11:

Prior to assumption of their duties, the chairman, the members and the Secretary-General of Majlis Ash-Shura shall take the following oath before the King:

"I swear by God Almighty to be loyal to my religion, then to my King and country. I swear not to reveal any of the State's secrets, to protect its interests and laws, and to perform my duties with sincerity, integrity, loyalty and fairness.”

 

Article 12:

The city of Riyadh is the seat of the Majlis Ash-Shura. The Council may convene in another area within the Kingdom if the King deems it necessary.

 

Article 13:

The fixed term for Majlis Ash-Shura shall be four years effective from the date of the Royal Decree issued for the formation of the Council. A new Council shall be formed at least two months before the end of the current Council's term. If the term expires before the formation of the new Council, the previous one shall remain active until the new Council is formed. When a new Council is formed, the number of the newly-selected members shall not be less than 50 percent of the entire Council's members.

Article 14:

The King, or a deputy appointed by him, shall deliver an annual Royal Speech at Majlis Ash-Shura on domestic and foreign policy of the State.

 

Article 15:

Majlis Ash-Shura shall express its opinion on general policies of the State referred by the Prime Minister. Specifically, the Council shall have the right to do the following:

•  Discuss the general plan for economic and social development

•  Study laws and regulations, international treaties and agreements and concessions, and make whatever suggestion it deems appropriate.

•  Interpret laws.

•  Discuss annual reports forwarded by ministries and other governmental institutions, and make whatever suggestions it deems appropriate.

 

Article 16:

No meeting held by Majlis Ash-Shura shall be considered official without a quorum of at least two-thirds of its members, including the Chairman or his deputy. Resolutions shall not be considered official without majority approval.

 

Article 17:

Majlis Ash-Shura's resolutions shall be forwarded to the Prime Minister for consideration by the Council of Ministers. If the views of both councils are concordant, the resolutions shall come into force following the King's approval. If the views are contradictory, the King may decide what he deems appropriate.

Article 18:

Laws, international treaties and agreements, and concessions shall be issued and amended by Royal Decrees after being studied by Majlis Ash-Shura.

Article 19:

Majlis Ash-Shura shall form specialized committees from amongst its members to exercise the powers within its jurisdiction. The Council may also form other specialized committees to discuss any items on the agenda.

 

Article 20 :

Majlis Ash-Shura's committees may seek the help of others who are not members of the Council upon the Chairman's approval .

 

Article 21:

Majlis Ash-Shura shall have a general commission composed of the Chairman, his deputy and heads of the specialized committees.

 

Article 22:

The Chairman of the Majlis Ash-Shura shall submit to the Chairman of the Council of Ministers requests to summon any government official to the meetings of Majlis Ash-Shura when matters relating to his jurisdiction are discussed. The official shall have the right to debate but not the right to vote.

 

Article 23:

Any group of ten members of Majlis Ash-Shura have the right to propose a new draft law or an amendment to a law already in force and submit it to the Chairman of the Council. The Chairman shall submit the proposal to the King.

 

Article 24:

The Chairman of the Majlis Ash-Shura shall submit a request to the Prime Minister to provide the Council with statements and documents in the possession of government institutions, which the Council believes are necessary to facilitate its work.

 

Article 25:

The Chairman of the Majlis Ash-Shura shall submit an annual report to the King on its work in accordance with the Council's By-laws.

 

Article 26:

Civil Service laws shall apply to employees of the Council's secretariat unless the by-laws provide otherwise.

 

Article 27:

Majlis Ash-Shura shall be allocated a special budget to be approved by the King. It shall be spent in accordance with rules to be issued by Royal Decree.

 

Article 28:

Majlis Ash-Shura financial matters, auditing and closing accounts shall be instituted in accordance with special rules to be issued by Royal Decree.

 

Article 29:

The By-laws of Majlis Ash-Shura shall define the functions of the Chairman of Majlis Ash-Shura, his deputy, the Secretary General of the Council, the Secretariat, the methods of conducting its sessions, the management of its work and its committees' work and the voting procedure. The regulations shall also specify rules of debate, forms of response, and other procedures conducive to restraint and discipline within the Council. It shall exercise its powers for the good of the Kingdom and the prosperity of its people. These regulations shall be issued by Royal Decree.

 

Article 30:

This Law can be amended only in the same manner in which it was promulgated

 


THE INTERNAL REGULATIONS
OF THE SHURA COUNCIL


PART ONE

Powers of the Chairman of the Council, Vice Chairman, and Secretary General


Article 1:
The Chairman of the Council shall supervise all of the functions of the Council, shall represent it in its relations with other agencies and organizations and shall be its spokesman.

Article 2:
The Chairman of the Council shall head all sessions of the Council and the meetings of the General Panel as well as the committee meetings he attends.

Article 3:
The Chairman of the Council shall open and adjourn the Council’s sessions, manage its discussions and participate in them, give the floor, determine the topic for discussion, draw the attention of speakers to the time limit and the subject matter of discussion, end discussion and put matters to a vote. He may do whatever he deems appropriate and sufficient to maintain order during sessions.

Article 4:
The Chairman of the Council may call the Council, the General Panel or any other committee for an emergency session to discuss a specific topic.

Article 5:
The Vice Chairman of the Shura Council shall assist the Chairman when present and assume his powers in his absence.

Article 6:
In the absence of the Chairman, the Vice Chairman shall preside over the Council’s sessions and the meetings of the General Panel. In case both are absent, whomever is designated by the King shall preside over the Council.(*)


(*) An approval of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Bin Abdulaziz has been according to decree number 86/2 dated 9/2/1425 appointing a Chairman Representative in the Shura Council, in each term. This representative shall have the Chairman's jurisdictions of session administration task, in the absence of the Chairman or Vice Chairman. The Vice Chairman and the King’s designee shall have the same powers specified for the Chairman.

Article 7:
The Secretary General or whoever acts for him shall attend the Council’s sessions and the meetings of the General Panel. He shall supervise the taking of the minutes and announce to the members the schedule and agenda of the sessions. In addition, he shall attend to all duties assigned by the Council, by the General Panel or by the Chairman of the Council. He shall be accountable before the Chairman of the Council regarding all the financial and administrative affairs of the Council.





PART TWO
The Council’s General Panel

Article 8:
The Council’s General Panel shall consist of the Chairman of the Council, the Vice Chairman and heads of the Council’s specialized committees.

Article 9:
The General Panel’s meetings shall not be valid unless attended by at least two thirds of its members. Its resolutions shall pass by majority vote of members present. In case of a tie, the Chairman shall cast the deciding vote.

Article 10:
The minutes of every meeting of the General Panel shall indicate the
time and place of the meeting, the names of those present and absent, the discussions and the text of the recommendations. The minutes shall be signed by the Chairman of the meeting and the members present.

Article 11:
The General Panel shall have the power to perform the following:
(a) The preparation of the general plan for the Council and its committees to enable the Council to discharge its duties and realize its objectives.
(b) The preparation of the agenda of the Council sessions.
(c) Deciding upon objections referred to it by the Council’s Chairman or the Council regarding the contents of the session minutes, the results of voting, the counting of votes or any other objections raised during Council sessions, and its decision thereon shall be final.
(d) Issuing the necessary rules to regulate the work of the Council and its committees in accordance with the Law and regulations of the Council.



PART THREE
Sessions

Article 12:
The Shura Council shall hold an ordinary session at least once every two weeks. The day and time of a session shall be determined pursuant to a decision by the Council’s Chairman. He may advance or postpone sessions when necessary.

Article 13:
The agenda of a session shall be distributed to the members before convening the session, along with reports pertaining to topics listed on the agenda and whatever the General Panel deems necessary.

Article 14:
The member of the Shura Council shall review the agenda within the
premises of the Council, and in no case shall he take any papers, laws or documents related to his job outside the Council.

Article 15:
A member who wants to speak during the session shall submit a request in writing, and such requests shall be listed in order of submission.

Article 16:
The Chairman shall permit members to speak taking into consideration the order of receipt of their requests and whatever is appropriate for the discussion.

Article 17:
A member shall not speak on a single topic for more than ten minutes without the permission of the Chairman. A member shall only address the Chairman or the Council, and none but the Chairman may interrupt the speaker.

Article 18:
The Council may postpone discussion of a topic or may restudy it, and the Chairman may suspend the session for not more than one hour.


Article 19:
There shall be minutes for each session staling the venue and date of the session, the time it started, the name of its chairman, the number of members present, the names of those absent and the reasons for their absence, if any, a summary of the discussions, the number of those voting in favor and those voting against, the result of the vote, the texts of the resolutions, whatever is related to the postponement or suspension of the session and the time of its adjournment, as well as any other matter the Chairman wishes to record.

Article 20:
The Chairman of the Council as well as the Secretary General or whoever is acting for him shall sign the minutes after it has been read to the Council, and any member shall have the right to view it.




PART FOUR
Committees


Article 21:
The Shura Council shall, at the outset of its term, form the necessary specialized committees from amongst Council members to exercise its powers.

Article 22:
Each specialized committee shall be formed of a number of members to be determined by the Council, provided that the number is not less than five. The Council shall select these members and name from amongst them the chairman of the committee and the vice chairman, taking into consideration members’ qualifications and the committee’s needs. The Council shall also form ad hoc committees to study a certain topic, and each committee may form one or more sub-committees from amongst its members to study a specific topic.

Article 23:
The Council may reconstitute its specialized committees and form others.

Article 24:
A committee chairman shall manage its work and speak on its behalf
before the Council. In the absence of the chairman, the vice chairman shall replace him. In the absence of the chairman and the vice chairman, the eldest member shall chair the committee.

Article 25:
The committee shall convene upon the invitation of its chairman, the Council or the Chairman of the Council.

Article 26:
Committee meetings shall be held in camera, and they shall not be considered valid unless at least two thirds of the committee members are present. Each committee shall prepare its agenda upon its chairman’s suggestion, and shall issue its recommendations by majority vote of members present. In case of a tie the chairman shall cast the deciding vote.

Article 27:
Committees shall review whatever is referred to them by the Council or its Chairman, and if the topic concerns more then one committee, the Chairman of the Council shall decide which committee is most qualified to review it, or he may refer it to a committee comprising all members of the committees concerned under the chairmanship of the Chairman of the Council or the Vice Chairman.

Article 28:
Any Council member may express his opinion on any topic that has been referred to one of the committees, even if he is not a member of that committee, provided that his opinion is presented in writing to the Chairman of the Council.

Article 29:
There shall be minutes for each committee meeting, staling the date and venue of the meeting, the names of members present and absent, a summary of the discussions and the text of its recommendations. The chairman and the members present shall sign the minutes.


Article 30:
When the committee completes the review of a certain topic it shall write a report that includes the basis of the topic referred to it, the committee’s point of view, its recommendation and the reason on which the recommendation was based and the opinion of the minority, if any.

 




PART FIVE
Voting and Adoption of Resolutions


Article 31:
Council resolutions shall be adopted by majority as set forth in Article 16 of the Law of the Shura Council. In case a majority vote is not attained, the topic shall be rescheduled for voting in the following session. In the event the topic does not win the necessary majority in this session, the issue shall be brought before the King along with any relevant study as well as the results of the voting in both sessions.

Article 32:
No discussion or presentation of new opinions shall be allowed during
the voting process. In all cases, the Chairman shall vote after the members have voted.



PART SIX
General Provisions


Article 33:
The Chairman of the Shura Council shall submit the annual report as set forth in Article 25 of the Law of the Council within the first three months of the following year. This report shall include all the studies and activities carried out that year in addition to all resolutions adopted and the current status of all issues pending before the Council.

Article 34:
Financial and personnel affairs of the Council shall be governed in accordance with the financial and personnel regulations. The Chairman of the Shura Council shall issue the necessary rules regulating the administrative and financial activities of the Council, including the organizational chart and the duties of the various departments of the Council in accordance with the Law and regulations of the Shura Council.



THE RIGHTS AND DUTIES
OF MAJLIS ASH-SHURA MEMBERS


Article 1:
Membership in Majlis Ash-Shura shall take effect from the beginning of the Council's term as specified in the order for its formation according to Article 13 of the Law of the Council. A substitute member's term of office shall commence on the date specified in the Royal Decree nominating him and shall expire at the end of the Council's term. In case the term of the (old) Council ends before the new Council is formed, his membership shall remain valid until the new Council is formed, unless the membership is terminated.

Article 2:

The Majlis Ash-Shura member shall receive a monthly remuneration of SR20,000 during his term of office, and shall be treated like at 15th grade employee as far as allowances, increments, compensations and privileges are concerned. All this shall not affect the pension that a member may deserve.

Article 3:
A full-time Council member shall retain the position and grade he held before joining the Council. His term of office in the Council shall be taken into consideration with respect to merit increases, promotions and retirement. A member shall pay, during membership, his pension premiums according to his basic salary.
A member shall not receive both the Council's remuneration and the salary from his (regular) position at the same time.
In case a member's salary exceeds his remuneration in the Council, the Council shall pay the member the difference. If the member's position provides him with greater benefits than those provided by the Council, the member shall continue receiving them.

Article 4:
Contrary to Article Two of these By-laws, a Council member shall be granted a 45-day annual leave. The scheduling shall be decided by the Chairman, who shall ensure that it shall not affect the quorum needed for sessions.

Article 5:
A member should be impartial and objective in all his functions at the Council. He shall not raise a private or personal issue or an issue contrary to public interest before the Council.

Article 6:
A member shall regularly attend Council sessions and committee meetings. He shall also notify the Chairman of the Council or a committee chairman in writing in case he is not be able to attend a Council session or a committee meeting. Moreover, he shall not leave a session or a meeting before adjournment without permission from the chairman.


FINANCIAL & PERSONNEL AFFAIRS


Article 1:
The Council's fiscal year is the same as the State's.

Article 2:
The Majlis Ash-Shura Chairman shall prepare a draft of the Council's annual budget and forward it to the King for approval.

Article 3:
The Council's budget shall be deposited with the Saudi Arab Monetary Agency, and withdrawal therefrom shall be against the signature of the Chairman or his deputy.

Article 4:
In case the Council's budget does not cover all the Council's expenditures, or an unforeseen expense arises, the Chairman shall forward a memorandum for the required additional funds to the King for approval.

Article 5:
(Remuneration for) titles and grades of positions at the Council shall be determined in the budget and may be modified during the fiscal year by a decision of the Chairman.

Article 6:
14th and 15th grade positions shall be filled by Royal Decree, while other positions shall be filled according to the civil service system with exemption from competition.

Article 7:
The Steering Committee of the Council shall set regulations for remuneration of non-members who render the Council services, be they government employees or others, as far as remuneration is concerned. These regulations shall be issued by a decision from the Council Chairman.

Article 8:
Majlis Ash-Shura shall not be audited by any other body, and within the administrative structure of the Council, there shall be an accounting department. The Steering Committee of the Council shall undertake the auditing. The Chairman may assign a financial or administrative expert to write a report on any of the Council's financial or administrative affairs.

Article 9:
At the end of the fiscal year, the General Secretariat of the Council shall prepare the final statement of accounts and forward it to the King for approval.

Article 10:
Without contravention of the provisions of these By-laws, the Council shall follow the rules pertaining to the accounts of ministries and government agencies to regulate the Council's financial affairs.



RULES AND PROCEDURES FOR THE INVESTIGATION AND TRIAL OF A MAJLIS ASH-SHURA MEMBER


Article 1:
If a member of Majlis Ash-Shura neglects any of his work duties, one of the following actions shall be taken against him:
a- A written reprimand shall be directed to him.
b- He shall be fined one month's salary.
c- His membership shall be terminated.

Article 2:
A committee of three Council members selected by the Council Chairman shall conduct the investigation.

Article 3:
The committee shall inform the concerned member of the alleged misconduct. The committee shall also record his rebuttal in the proceedings of the investigation. Then, the committee shall report its verdict to the Steering Committee of the Council.

Article 4:
The Steering Committee may also form a three-member committee, excluding the Chairman and his deputy, to investigate the alleged misconduct of the given member. This committee shall be entitled to apply the penalty of a written reprimand or a fine of one month's salary. If the committee concludes that the member should be expelled, the verdict shall be referred to the Council Chairman, who shall, in turn, refer it to the King.

Article 5:
The application of any of the above penalties does not preclude the initiation of public or private claims against the member.

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Fahd Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, issued a Royal Decree embodying the Majlis Ash-Shura Law. The following is the text of the Decree:

 

  In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful

No. A/91.

Dated 27/08/1412 H

 

With the help of God, We, Fahd Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Monarch of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in compliance with the words of God, “Consult them on the affair,” and His other words, “Their affairs are carried out in consultation among themselves,” and following the Sunna of His Messenger (PBUH) who consulted his companions, and after taking cognizance of the previous Shura (Consultative) Council of 1347H., order the following:

 

•  The promulgation of Majlis Ash-Shura Law in the attached text,

•  That this Law shall replace Majlis Ash-Shura Law issued in the Year 1347H and that affairs of the Council shall be arranged according to Royal Decree,

•  That all laws, orders and resolutions in force at the time of promulgation shall remain valid until they are amended to comply with this Law,

•  That this Law shall come into force within a period not exceeding six months effective from the date of its publication,

•  That this Law shall be published in the Official Gazette.