Opinion

Judicial reforms on the way

March 17, 2021
Majed Garoub

A radical re-establishment of laws and legislations in a clear, specific and accurate manner, thus the basis for the work of the judiciary, is to implement the clear laws issued.

This enables beneficiaries to predict judgments, raises the level of integrity and efficiency of the performance of judicial agencies, increases confidence in procedures and controls mechanisms, as they are integral in achieving justice, imposing limits to judicial responsibility and stabilizing legal references.

In consequence, judges' discretionary authority to impose penalties and judgments that were primarily based on their experiences and trials are now limited.

Additionally, judges will be restricted in their judgments due to previous vague judgments that have led to the discrepancy of rulings and the lack of clarity of governing facts, which in turn led to lengthy litigation that lasted many years, as they were based on doctrinal and cultural differences and not specific to legal texts.

This radical change depends on reshaping the basis upon which the judiciary relied on. Indefinite authority based on individual judgment formed by culture, individual and personal experience, science and incorrect interpretation of knowledge of forensic sciences.

The reforms touch upon the principle of the independence of the judiciary, adapting into a restricted authority prevented from continuing with the same methods, and becoming governed by clear and specific defined legal texts.

Therefore, the judge's role will only support administrating the facts according to the procedural legal text and applying the legal text in terms of the subject matter of the case.

Today, it will be clear to everyone that the judicial work will focus only on the basic laws and legislations for personal status, civil transactions, evidence in commercial and civil transactions and criminal law, confirming that there is no crime and no punishment except by a legal text.

This will inevitably lead to raising the level of legal culture in society at the level of individuals, institutions or businesses, and this in turn, will lead to awareness and better use of legal representatives and lawyers.

This will also contribute to strengthening the rules and foundations of commercial contracts, businesses, investment, oversight, integrity and transparency, to enhance the status of the legal representatives, governance and compliance departments, which will lead to major amendments in commercial dealings.

It is not likely that there will be unintended consequences, rather the development of legal rights that will reflect in the work of the three legislative, judicial and executive authorities.

This will lead to the development of oversight work in favor of more disclosure, transparency, anti-corruption and the development of the work of lawyers and consultants in public and private sectors, as well as national law offices.

This matter is fundamental for the Kingdom's Vision 2030, to develop the reality of the Kingdom, for the near and far future.

Therefore, what is happening now is the implementation of what was previously announced by Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman regarding a comprehensive review of everything so that we can achieve the goals of the vision and the aspirations of the future.

There will be additional legislative reforms that will reflect in judicial and executive authority leading state institutions to be the most effective country in the world, which is a reality that we look forward to in all sectors.

This requires sovereignty, clear, accurate and transparent enforcement of the laws, which should be the most appropriate in protecting the rights of individuals, institutions, businesses and foremost human rights.

— The writer is a Saudi lawyer and can be reached on his twitter account @MajedGaroub

March 17, 2021
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