The General Judiciary
The general judiciary in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has undergone various stages of development since its inception. However, a significant milestone that cannot be overlooked is the date of October 1, 2007, when the Judiciary Law was enacted. This law introduced key advancements in judicial authority, including the establishment of different stages of proceedings and the creation of specialized courts, mirroring practices seen in many other countries.
Stages of Proceedings
The Judiciary Law introduced a reorganization of the judicial hierarchy, dividing it into two levels: Courts of First Instance and Courts of Appeal. These two tiers are aimed at reinforcing judicial guarantees granted to all parties involved in a case without distinction based on citizenship or any other criteria. This ensures that the legal rights of all parties are exhausted before each court, culminating in a final judgment.
It is noteworthy that the issuance of a judgment by the Court of Appeal serves as the final judgment, concluding the proceedings of the case, without infringing upon the right of any party to appeal the judgment to the Supreme Court.
Regarding the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, it serves as a court of law that oversees the correct application of laws without delving into the substantive aspects of the case. It acts as a Court of Cassation and only deals with specific types of cases defined by law, where the Supreme Court is tasked with rendering judgments.
One of the key developments introduced by Judiciary Law is the establishment of specialized courts. Within the Courts of First Instance, we find:
- Criminal Court
- Personal Status Court
- Commercial Court
- Labor Court
- General Court
These courts have jurisdiction over cases specified by the Judiciary Law and subsequent laws, such as the Law of Procedures, the Criminal Procedure Law, and the Commercial Courts Law. Upon the issuance of a final judgment in all cases, the Execution Court takes responsibility for enforcing the judgment.
It's worth noting that the Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal are also organized into specialized circuits similar to the Courts of First Instance and deal with the substantive aspects of the cases.