Al-Nami Law Firm provides, through its lawyers and legal counsels highly experienced in statutory law and Islamic Sharia, the consulting services about a lot of matters, and local, regional and international issues to several clients of local, foreign and joint companies, investors, contractors, developers and others where we represent them at the local and regional levels, and do our best to protect their interests and rights in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The consulting services shall include:
Since the courts are divided according to subject-matter jurisdiction, the litigation procedures are done according to the types of disputes and the competent court. This includes the general Sharia Courts, board of grievances, commercial courts and quasi-judicial committees. So, our firm, through its extensive expertise in laws and proceedings, investigates the cases, prepares their statements and file them to the courts as per laws in force. Due to the development of the judicial business, the Saudi legislator has introduced the electronic judicial actions as of the case filing to the online electronic litigation leading to the delivery of judgments and filing of objections or appeals.
The Judicial System and Courts in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia:
The legal system in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is based on the Islamic Law which is a group of rulings taken from several Islamic sources; the highest ranked being the noble Quran and the noble Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad.
The Sharia rules are specified in a general vocabulary which gives the Saudi courts a wide discretionary power to deliver and enforce their judgments. Moreover, there are four main Islamic Schools of Thought giving different interpretations of one issue which are Hanbali, Maliki, Hanafi and Shafi’i. Hanbali School of Thought is adopted in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but within this School of Thought there are predominant jurist opinions and others different about a lot of issues and any of them can be applied to the case concerned.
Also, there are cases in which the Saudi courts apply the jurist provisions of other Schools of Thought whenever that achieves integrity and establishes justice.
The Main Practical Results of Enforcing the Islamic Sharia are:
Other Legislative Systems:
All the civil, commercial and financial transactions and others are regulated by Royal Orders and Decrees, higher orders, decrees by the council of ministers, and ministerial decrees and circulars by the various governmental authorities.
– Sharia Courts:
Sharia courts are called the general courts where they have general powers to hear the civil and personal status cases.
The general Sharia courts have wide powers in the enforcement of Sharia rulings to a certain incident.
Pursuant to the general Sharia principles, such courts have jurisdiction over any case brought thereto where they decide thereon in terms of Sharia taking in consideration all the surrounding circumstances of the case.
The Sharia courts have discretionary power to prevent or amend the enforcement of any clause of a contract or an obligation so long as the competent court sees that the enforcement of such clause shall violate the Sharia rulings. A good example of this is the prohibition of parties’ agreement to the usurious interests.
In addition to the judgments delivered by courts presided by a single judge, there are appellate courts composed of three judges, the Supreme Court and the High Judicial Council.
– High Judicial Council:
The parties may contest the judgments delivered by the appellate courts in terms of Sharia not in terms of facts, before the Supreme Court and High Judicial Council.
The High Judicial Council has two committees; one is competent to hear the major penalties such as retribution, and matters referred thereto from the King or the Ministry of Justice, and the other one is competent to review the judgments delivered by the appellate courts which deviate from the long-established rules.
– Board of Grievances:
Board of Grievances is competent to hear the cases where one of their parties is a Governmental Authority and disputes arising out of the administrative decisions.
– Powers of Courts in Saudi Arabia:
The courts in Saudi Arabia combine the wide powers granted thereto according to the long-established Sharia rules and the texts of laws by ensuring that the justice is established through examining and interpreting the legal documents supporting the rights and obligations.
– Quasi-Judicial committees:
In addition to the general Sharia courts and Board of Grievances, the Saudi legislator has introduced a number of quasi-judicial committees enjoying the powers to decide on the disputes related to the duties thereof. This is a matter of specialization for speedy settlement of disputes and offences away from the judiciary and courts. Such committees include, without limitation:
Commercial Arbitration in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia:
The commercial arbitration in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is governed by Saudi Law issued on 25.05.1983G and amended by the Royal Decree No. M/34 for the Year 1433H and the Ministerial Decree No. 156 and its Executive Regulations. Such law governs the commercial arbitration agreements, the designation of arbitrators, the arbitral procedures, and the judicial supervision over the arbitration and the execution of arbitral awards. The awards of the arbitral panels have the same binding effects as the judicial judgments and they are executed in the same way. The commercial arbitration law requires the competent court to supervise the commercial arbitration process.
– What is the arbitration?
The arbitration is an agreement to resolve the disputes arising between a dispute parties through arbitrators to be selected by the dispute parties to settle it away from the competent court. The arbitration is characterized by the speedy settlement of the dispute, the secrecy of deliberations between the parties and the arbitral panel, the control of procedures by the dispute parties and the freedom of parties to select the persons who shall decide on the dispute. The Saudi Center for Commercial Arbitration is the authority regulating the arbitration process in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi Center for Commercial Arbitration has adopted in 1437H/2016G rules based on the rules of the United Nations Commission on the International Trade Law. Such rules have been drafted with an organized methodology pursuing the claim from its filing date till the arbitral award is delivered. The rules have also adopted the best practices established in the leading international arbitration institutions, especially the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) and the American Arbitration Association (AAA).
– What are the claims to be arbitrated?
Arbitration hears the commercial and civil claims – other than the personal status cases – when there is an agreement between the parties to refer the controversy to arbitration.
– How do the parties go to the arbitration?
There should be an agreement between the parties to refer the controversy to arbitration before going to the arbitration. Then a request for arbitration is filed through the Saudi Center for Commercial Arbitration to commence the procedures.
– When is a request for arbitration filed?
The request for arbitration is filed after the rise of controversy and wish for settlement thereof. There is no need to go to the judiciary before filing the request for arbitration in case there is an arbitration agreement.
– Who are the arbitrator and the arbitral panel?
The arbitrator is a person to be selected by the parties to hear the controversy and issue an award therein against fees to be paid to him. His powers are limited to the resolution of controversy presented to him and its parties only, and they do not exceed it to other controversy or parties. The arbitral panel may consist of a single arbitrator or more.
– What is the arbitral award?
The arbitral award is the final decision rendered by the arbitral panel in the merits of controversy, whether such award includes all the controversies or a part thereof, and whether the arbitral panel has admitted or dismissed all the motions of any of the parties or admitted a part and dismissed the other one.
– How is the arbitral award rendered?
The arbitral award is rendered after the proceedings are closed. The award should be written and substantiated and it is sent to the award parties through the Arbitration Center.
– How is the arbitral award executed?
If the arbitration is local the award is executed in the execution court, but if the arbitration is international it is executed as per the rules of the foreign state regarding the execution of awards of the foreign arbitration.
– How is the arbitral award challenged?
The arbitral awards are challenged only through filing an invalidity complaint according to the cases specified in Article 50 of the Saudi Arbitration Law issued in 1433H.
– Who renders the arbitral award?
The arbitral award is issued by the arbitral panel only. The Center has no power to amend the contents of the award.