Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Required Reform | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Many people in Saudi Arabia welcomed the remarks of Saudi Crown Prince Sultan Bin-Abdulaziz in his interview with Asharq al-Awsat in which he pointed out that there is a serious intention, which will be announced soon, to develop the judicial system and its rules. This was followed, a few days later, by an important debate in the Shura Council during which a member asked that the Justice Minister be invited to come to the Council to answer questions about the method of appointing judges.

Reform is a word that has recently entered the public’s political lexicon in the Arab World. The word has become a standard term in conversations in councils and on various occasions. This phenomenon appears strongly in every country. The reform demands have centered on the political and economic fields. They were accompanied by urgent and strong demands to develop some vital sectors, such as education (which occupied a huge part of the debate, and the efforts on this issue have not risen to the desired level until now), and health. However, there is an extremely important sector, which has not received a sufficient measure of debate and attention, despite its importance and sensitivity. This is the justice and judicial sector. For many years, the judicial and justice sector in Saudi Arabia was dealt with very carefully to the point where no one would comment on it. Recently, the press began discussing the administrative situation of the judicial system in the country. The judicial and justice system is an administrative and service system only, and it should not be dealt with as if it were anything else. Those in charge of it and those employed in it are humans who try to do their jobs. Sometimes they are right and sometimes they are wrong. The judicial challenges are increasing and the demands are rising for a modern and effective judicial system that ensures the rights of the people, coupled with a control system and respect for the element of time. It demands the same enthusiasm directed toward reforming, developing, and improving the stock exchange, the education ministries, and others. We need to do the same thing with regard to a more important and serious sector. This sector is the safety valve and the source of guarantees for the rights of the people and the achievement of justice, which affects a significant sector of the people. There are unlimited fields of required reform in this system (and these fields are known), whether in terms of developing the administrative rules and regulations, the control system, or human training to develop the capabilities of those in charge of this system. This is in addition to the aspects and elements of support that improves the judicial atmosphere and the results expected from it.

The development, reform, and improvement of the judicial system are not only a demand, but also an urgent necessity. Without them, the current social and economic ambitions will not be achieved.