MoJ's History

  • ​Overview of the Saudi Judiciary:


    Since its inception by King Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, Saudi Arabia has been keen to uphold citizens’ rights. In order to realize the principle of justice, the Kingdom made numerous efforts, established several courts that adjudicated -- according to Islamic law -- all civil, criminal, commercial, and family cases, and provided litigants with all judicial guarantees at all levels. The courts were distributed throughout the Kingdom so that everyone could have easy and convenient access to justice services.

    King Abdul-Aziz laid a sound foundation for the judiciary according to Islamic law. After the unification of the Kingdom, a single judicial presidency was established in Makkah, the Western Region, on 24/7/1344 A.H. (7/2/1962) to supervise the courts of Hijaz and its dependencies, whereas single judges assumed their roles in major cities of Najd and its dependencies by considering all cases in their cities and surrounding villages. On 21/2/1346 A.H. (20/8/1927), a royal decree established courts in Hijaz at three levels:

    1. 1- Summary courts
    2. 2- Major courts, and annex courts. (Both types are general courts.)
    3. 3- Judicial control body (appellate court). The decree stated the jurisdiction.

    In addition to these courts, there was a type of special court called the Commercial Council. This dealt with commercial and maritime disputes. In 1375 A.H. (1955), two presidencies of judicial panels were established as follows: The Judicial Presidency in the Western Region, also overseeing the Northern, Asir, and Jazan Regions. The Judicial Scrutiny Commission, as well as several courts and notarial panels, were affiliated with it.


    The Judicial Presidency in the Central Region, also overseeing the Eastern Region, Ha’il and its dependencies, in addition to several courts and notarial panels. On 18/10/1379 A.H. (15/4/1960), they were unified into a single judicial presidency based in Riyadh as the sole authority supervising the judiciary, including the Judicial Presidency in the Western Region as a branch. In 1381 A.H. (1961) an independent appellate court was created in Riyadh, with a branch in Makkah.

    In 1382 A.H. a royal decree established the Ministry of Justice to oversee courts and meet their financial and administrative needs. The Ministry started its functions in 1390 A.H.


    At the end of 1389 A.H. (1970) a judicial body known as the Supreme Judicial Commission was formed, coinciding with the time the Ministry of Justice started its work in 1390 A.H. (1970). This commission was the basis for the Supreme Judicial Council established in 1395 A.H. (1975) under the Law of the Judiciary. The council consisted of two bodies (a permanent body and a plenary body). Article 5 of the Law of the Judiciary of 1395 A.H. stated judicial hierarchy as follows:

    1. 1- The Supreme Judicial Council.
    2. 2- The Court of Cassation.
    3. 3- General and summary courts.

    In 1428 A.H. the new Law of the Judiciary was issued by the royal decree No. M/78 dated 19/9/1428 A.H. The law introduced major additions that restructured the judiciary. It also established the Supreme Court, appellate courts, and special first instance courts.


    Ministers of Justice

    Current Minister of Justice:​

    H.E. Dr. Waleed b. Muhammad al-Sama'ani:( From 9/4/1436 A.H. to present )

    waleed_2.jpg

    Career:

    • - Obtained a doctorate from the Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University -- Department of Shariah Policy, the High Judicial Institute.
    • - Served as a judge at the Board of Grievances.
    • - On 1/9/1434 A.H., he was appointed Advisor to the Royal Court of HRH the Crown Prince.
    • - On 9/4/1436 A.H., a royal decree appointed him as Minister of Justice.
    • - Member of the Council for Economic Affairs and Development.
    • - Chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council.
    • - Chairman of the Executive Office for the Council of Arab Justice Ministers.
    • - Chairman of the Saudi Bar Association.

    Former Ministers of Justice​

    1. H.E. Muhammad b. Ali al-Harakan ( From 21/7/1390 to 1395 A.H. )

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    Career:

    • - Assumed Al-Ula judgeship.
    • - Served as judge at Jeddah Court.
    • - Became president of Jeddah Court.
    • - The royal decree no. 1/105 of 21/7/1390 appointed him as Minister of Justice.
    • - Appointed secretary of the Muslim World League.
    • - He passed away on 9/9/1403 A.H.​

    2. H.E. Ibrahim b. Muhammad Al al-Sheikh ( From 1395 to 1407 A.H. )

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    Career:

    • - Deputy to the Grand Mufti, then head of commission issuing fatwas.
    • - Member of the Senior Scholars Council.
    • - In 1395 A.H. he was appointed Minister of Justice.
    • - Appointed chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council.
    • - Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Supreme Judicial Council.
    • - He passed away in 1427 A.H.

    3. Dr. Muhammad b. Ibrahim b. Jubair ( From 1407 to 19/3/1413 A.H. )

    alharkan.jpg

    Career:

    • - Appointed as a trainee judge at Makkah Court.
    • - Then as a judge at the summary court of Makkah.
    • - Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Supreme Judicial Council.
    • - Member of the Senior Scholars Council.
    • - Headed the Board of Grievances.
    • - On 19/3/1413 A.H., he was appointed chairman of the Shura Council.
    • - He passed away on 10/12/1422 A.H.

    4. H.E. Dr. Abdullah b. Muhammad Al al-Sheikh ( From 19/3/1413 to 19/2/1430 A.H. )

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    Career:

    • - Appointed assistant lecturer, then lecturer, at the Riyadh Shariah College.
    • - In 1407 A.H. he received a doctorate and was appointed professor at the Shariah College.
    • - On 19/3/1413 A.H., a royal decree appointed him Minister of Justice.
    • - On 19/2/1430 A.H., a royal decree appointed him chairman of the Shura Council, a position he still holds.
    • - Member of the Senior Scholars Council.

    5. H.E. Dr. Muhammad b. Abdul-Karim al-Issa ( From 19/2/1430 A.H. to 8/4/1436 A.H. )

    alharkan.jpg

    Career:

    • - Served as a researcher at the secretariat of the Senior Scholars Council.
    • - Deputy to the chairman of the Board of Grievances.
    • - On 19/2/1430 A.H., a royal decree appointed him Minister of Justice.
    • - Headed the Supreme Judicial Council.
    • - Member of the Senior Scholars Council.
    • - Secretary General of the Muslim World League, a position he still holds.





    Last Modified : 26 Nov 2018
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