Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat- A delegation from Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Justice will soon dispatch to the United States to study the US experience with judicial management. Saudi judicial management may adopt technology and training methods if the delegation deems the US system compatible.
The decision to send the delegation was made during a meeting between Dr Abdul Malik bin Ahmad Al Sheikh, the senior adviser to the Saudi Justice Minister, and Erica Barks-Ruggles, US deputy assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights, and labor, who is currently visiting the Kingdom.
They discussed cooperation prospects through exchange of expertise of pre-litigation procedures, especially concerning training and technology. Al Sheikh told Asharq Al-Awsat: “We may benefit from the US experience in the field of judicial management and we may not.”
He explained that the Saudi delegation “will become acquainted with and will learn about the systems there [in the US] in the field of judicial management while also considering the differences between the Saudi and US systems.”
The meeting, which took place in the Ministry of Justice in Riyadh, included an overview of the Saudi judicial system and the application of Islamic Shariaa.
The legislative sources from the Quran, Sunnah, and Al-Ijma [scholarly consensus] were also explained. According to Al Sheikh, the US delegation, which met with the chairman of the Shura Council, the Minister of Higher Education and officials from governmental and non-governmental human rights societies and commissions, was briefed on King Abdullah’s seven billion riyal ($1.86 million) project to upgrade the judicial system.
Al Sheikh informed Asharq Al-Awsat: “The US State Department delegation was briefed on new judicial arrangements and expressed its admiration for the developmental steps that are being taken, which will have a positive impact on the Saudi judiciary.”
Al Sheikh continued: “Saudi Arabia is the metropolis of Islam. It is the site of the two holy mosques and the qibla [direction in which Muslims pray] of the Muslims. Saudi Arabia has the honor of enforcing tolerant Islamic Shariaa that protects and guards public rights and private human rights, and seeks to develop the mechanisms of judicial management in Saudi Arabia while considering the use of modern technology to entrench the application of these mechanisms.”