The Supreme Court:
Location of the Supreme Court:
Under the Law of the Judiciary, there is a single Supreme Court at the top of the Saudi judicial hierarchy, based in Riyadh.
Formation of the Supreme Court:
• The Supreme Court consists of a president and a sufficient number of judges with the rank of Appellate Court President.
• The Saudi justice system has established a general assembly of the Supreme Court, held under the presidency of the court president and the membership of all of its judges. The assembly determines general judicial principles, and considers matters as indicated by law. This is a unique paradigm shift that greatly helps judges, who can refer to the principles when they encounter any intricate matters.
• A General Assembly’s session is not considered lawful unless it is attended by at least two thirds of the members, including the president or his representative.
• Decisions of the General Assembly are made by a majority vote of the present members. When votes are equal, the side voted for by the chairman shall prevail, and the decisions shall be final.
Appointment of the Supreme Court members:
Appointment of the Court President:
• The president of the Supreme Court is appointed by royal decree.
• He has a minister’s grade, and his service may only be terminated by royal decree.
• He must meet the requirements for the position of appellate court president.
• In his absence, the longest serving of the presidents of the Supreme Court panels shall be appointed.
Appointment of the judges of the Court:
Members are appointed by royal decree based on the proposal of the Supreme Judicial Council.
• They must meet the requirements for the position of appellate court president.
Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court:
In addition to the Supreme Court’s powers stated in the Law of Civil Procedures and the Law of Criminal Procedures, It shall monitor the application of Islamic Shariah and the Shariah-compliant laws issued by the authorities on matters outside the jurisdiction of the general judiciary, in the following jurisdictions:
1. Revision of judgments and decisions issued or upheld by appellate courts, entailing execution, amputation, stoning, or qisas for homicide or lesser injuries.
2. Revision of judgments and decisions issued or upheld by appellate courts, for cases not mentioned in the above paragraph, or for probate or similar cases, without addressing case merits, if the objection is for:
A. A. Violating Shariah provisions or Shariah-compliant laws issued by the authorities
B. B. The court that has issued the ruling has not been properly formed as stated by the law
C. C. The court or panel that has issued the ruling is incompetent
D. There has been an error or inaccuracy in stating or describing the facts