24th February, 2016
With 196 countries in the world, and the many varying ideals of law and who should rule, it is no surprise that there are many types of legal systems. From systems based on secularism (separation of church and state) to religiously based courts such as those in India or Saudi Arabia, these legal systems form a real melting pot of ideals. In this paper, we will look at and analyze the court system of Saudi Arabia and how it affects the overall Saudi Arabian government. Saudi Arabian law is based in the Islamic faith, making it a religious based legal system. It is based on the Qur’an, the Islamic holy book written by the prophet Muhammad, and the Sunna, which contains the…show more content… These instead would fall towards the Board of Grievances. (Fenwick Elliot) .
The Shari 'ah Courts System is set into a 3-tier hierarchy, with the Supreme Judicial Council on the top, the Court of Appeals or the “Appellate” court in the middle, and the First Instance Courts at the bottom which are subdivided based on their jurisdiction into the categories of a summary and a general court. (Ansary) A new court system giving the First Instance Courts authority over commercial disputes and labor courts is being implemented currently but is not fully functional. (Hamidani)
The Supreme Judicial Council is headed by 11 judges. These are constituted by five full time judges, five part time judges and a chairman. These appointments are usually made by the Saudi King who is the supreme power in the governmental structure. The Supreme Judicial Council plays a supervisory role over the Saudi Arabian legal system and is responsible for governing the assignment, promotions, and expulsions of judges from the lower tiers in the hierarchy. (Ansary)
The second tier in the hierarchy, the Court of Appeals is primarily headed to review appeals of decisions that are made by the First Instance Courts. The Court is headed by a chief judge and then between 2 to 4 other judges from the “legal community” based on the severity of the appeal being done. These judges were “Qadis” which are those judges versed in Islamic law. A normal civil dispute would