Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat – The Saudi Ministry of Justice has completed the first step of a mechanism to regulate the entry of women to courts across the Kingdom. The public courts in the capital and the sea port of Jeddah have been equipped with new halls to deal with women’s cases. This stage was accomplished in accordance with a plan announced by the Minister of Justice in June.
An official at the Ministry told Asharq al Awsat that special offices are now ready to receive women and deal with their cases, in order to assist them and help them reach the offices of sheikhs, notaries and judges, in accordance to the Ministry’s plan aimed at assisting women in legal matters.
A committee comprised of judges and experts in women’s issues had previously made a number of recommendations to the Ministry.
The public administration at the Ministry of Justice will be tasked with visiting these new halls and ensuring they are fulfilling their responsibility. Women only sections are to be provided with computers, the necessary manpower and equipment to ensure the comfort and privacy of all those using them.
Mays Abu Dablouh, a Saudi lawyer, expressed her optimism at the new mechanism which ensures privacy and flexibility. She said the Ministry’s decision provided a glimmer of hope for female Saudi lawyers and hoped they would be permitted to open independent law offices for women and to plead on their behalf in court, in the future.
In the past, women faced a number of difficulties in Saudi courts and could not move easily between rooms or discuss their problems in private. As a result, many failed to follow-up with their cases for fear of being embarrassed.