Saudi Arabia Law
The basis of the legal system in Saudi Arabia is the Sunnah, Islamic as well as the Sharia law. Sharia as the basis of this law comprises of the consensus of the Islamic scholarly that was established after the Islamic jury’s collapse as well analogical thinking. The way the Saudi Arabia jury understands the law is impacted on by the medieval contents of literalists within the Islamic law school. Saudi Arabia embraced Sharia law distinctively in Islamic world in form of an un-codified structure. The Saudi Arabian laws have substantial ambiguity when it comes to content and capacity because there were no legal precedents.
The Saudi Arabian government in 2010 announced that it intended to codify the Sharia. Nevertheless, this has not been realized yet. Rules that were issued by the imperial judgment which covers modern issues that include intellectual property and corporate law complement Sharia. Nevertheless, Sharia remains the major source of the Arabian law especially on matters that involve contract, family, criminal, and commercial law. The Sunnah and Quran are the state’s constitution. In the energy and land law section, a considerable aspect is formed by the proprietary privileges in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia has an absolute monarchy government system (Marshall 72). There is no lawfully binding constitution that has been printed in Saudi Arabia (Champion 60). However, the imperial decree adopted Saudi Arabia Basic. This is a basic law that highlights the course and task of the organs that govern the country. However, this law is not adequately specific and this hinders it from being considered a constitution. The assertion of this law is that the ruling king has to abide by the Sharia and that the nation’s constitution is the Quaran, Sunnah and Muhammad’s traditions. It is important to understand both the Quran and Sunna. Ulema, a religious institution in Saudi Arabia interprets the Quran, Sunnah and Muhammad’s traditions (Champion 60).
Additionally, Basic Law asserts that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia remains under the monarchy as the rule structure. The state’s monarch comes from the King Abdul-Aziz Bin Abdulrahman’s sons. This was the initiator and the sons or descendants must produce the monarch. According to the Almighty God’s book and Sunna messenger of God, loyalty shall be granted to the son that will depict the highest level of honesty. The government gets power from the Sunna and the book of God. These serve as definitive orientation sources of the law of the state.
In the monarchy of Saudi Arabia there is no standard legislature. Consequently, the Ministers’ Council produces new laws. The King can certainly issue an imperial decree without proposition or consultation with other organs. However, the king must conform to the basic creed of the Sharia law. The Ministers’ Council helps the King in ruling by advising him. This council is called the Cabinet.
Ministers’ Council comprise of 22 ministry divisions. The Council’s drafts resolutions binds on the most of affiliates’ ballots. However, the decree’s endorsement depends on the approval of the ruling of the king. The individual ministers and the body draft and implement regulations and policies for the Kingdom.
Similarly, the King is helped by the Majlis Al-Shura or the Consultative Council. This organ initially acted on consultative ability only. However, in 2003 it was granted the powers to propose legislations. Shura’s decisions are debated. Their approval lies with the Ministers’ Council. Regardless of whether these organs differ or concur, the dismissal or acceptance of the suggested legislations lies exclusively with the King’s judgment.
Sharia Courts in Saudi Arabia have three main departments. These are the First Instance Courts, the Supreme Judicial Council as well as the Cassation Courts. There are 11 affiliates that are appointed by the king in the Supreme Judicial Council. In most cases, they act as the executive body via the lower courts’ supervision. Despite having governmental obligations, this council offers lawful judgments while advising the kind and assessing amputation, stoning and death punishments. The Council’s head is the Justice Minister.
The Cassation Courts are found in Mecca and Riyadh. These have three divisions which are the criminal law division, individual status suit and others. Cases that come from the western areas are heard in a court found in Mecca. The central and eastern region cases are heard in a Riyadh court. The Supreme Judicial Council has a distinctive duty and this makes its verdicts absolute. Cassation Courts differ from appeal courts in the western regions because they simply affirm or remand fresh trials. Just like with other aspects of a monarchy, the King serves as the absolute or utmost appeal court in the country.
The Royal Decree gives the King the mandate of serving as the institution that deals with different judicial systems with authority over certain parts and subjects of the Arabian law. The systems of the judiciary are subjected to Sharia law. The courts handle cases that involve verdicts application and implementation of rules in certain circumstances. There are government ministries and organs that have the power to establish tribunals whose authority for resolving disagreements are restricted under the proficiency area of the agency.
The Grievances Board was initially established to hear the grievances that were raised against the bureaucrats of the government who had inappropriate conduct. However, it was extended and now it includes commercial arguments. The board’s judgments are not published. It is made of three major components. These are commercial law, criminal law that relates to commercial transaction and administrative law. There is a court for every law for initial cases as well as the appellate board.
There is no legal system in Saudi Arabia. There are few procedures that are officially applied by the courts. The initial code for a criminal process was developed in 2001. This comprises of the adopted terms from the Egyptian and French law (Otto, 166). A Human Rights Watch account of 2008 established that the jury did not know the criminal practice as set by the laws or the jury was conscious of the practice but kept ignoring it.
Sharia guides the criminal system in Saudi Arabia and it has three sections. These are:
- Hudud: This entails the fixed penalties of the Quran for certain offenses. Offenses of Hudud are solemn. They include profanity, infidelity, burglary, apostasy, sodomy and fornication.
- Qisas: These are the eye-for-an-eye These offenses include physical harm crimes and murder.
- Tazir: This category is general. It represents most cases that the nationwide rules define. They include drug abuse, trafficking and corruption.
Evidence is required for a conviction in any of the traditions to be passed. Example of evidence is non-forced admission. However, indication of at least two witnesses of a male gender can lead to a guilty verdict of the offender and four witnesses for infidelity issues which require confession (Herbert 1415). In courts, the testimony of women has half of the level of influence that the testimony of men has. However, evidence of women is impermissible during trials. Proofs of non-Muslims or Muslims with intolerable beliefs may be discounted. A rejection or assertion by an oath might be required. Vowing is highly regarded within spiritual civilizations. Denying an oath can be considered as admitting that one is guilty and this leads to conviction.
Several severe physical penalties are inflicted by the courts in Saudi Arabia (Otto, 175). Different crimes can attract a death sentence including murder, drug abuse, armed burglary, apostasy, sorcery, witchcraft, and infidelity. This can be executed by beheading which is done using a firing squad, sword or stoning after which one is crucified (Miethe and Hong 63).
Rule of Law
Courts in Saudi Arabia use Sharia which is un-codified. There is also no legal precedent that binds the jury. This makes the substance and capacity of the Saudi law doubtful (Otto 167). According to a study by Albert Shanker Institute and Freedom House, several facets of administering justice in Saudi Arabia should be criticized. The study asserted that practices of this nation do not follow the rule of law’s idea (Freedom House and Albert Shanker Institute, n.p). This study further argues that the verdict that is made by Saudi judges fails to follow the legal process. The verdicts are challenged by the legal representatives’ valiant only. Pleas that are made to the Saudi king normally come from sympathy rather than justice or innocence. The argument is that the royal family’s affiliates in Saudi Arabia do not appear before courts.
“Rule of Law: Country Studies – Saudi Arabia”. Democracy Web: Comparative Studies in Freedom, 2010. Albert Shanker Institute and Freedom House. Web. http://www.democracyweb.org/rule/saudiarabia.php
Cavendish, Marshall, “World and Its Peoples: the Arabian Peninsula.” New York: Marshall Cavendish, 2007. Print
Champion, Daryl, “The paradoxical kingdom: Saudi Arabia and the momentum of reform.” London: C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 2003. Print
Herbert, Kritzer, “Legal Systems of the World: A Political, Social, and Cultural Encyclopedia.” Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2002. Print
Miethe, Terance and Lu, Hong. “Punishment: a comparative historical perspective.” Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. Print
Otto, Jan Michiel, “Sharia Incorporated: A Comparative Overview of the Legal Systems of Twelve Muslim Countries in Past and Present.” Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2010. Print
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