Saudi Legal System: An Overview (Part 2)

The background of the Saudi legal system could be gleaned from its rich culture and tradition, taking into primary consideration Islam as its religion. However, to be an effective and dynamic country, it must be flexible to address modern aspects of everyday living.

Saudi Basic Law of Government

On March 1, 1992, King Fahd ibn Abdel-Aziz issued three major laws: the Basic Law of Government, the Consultative Council Law and the Law of Provinces.

With the issuance of the Basic Law of Government, it enacted several aspects of the constitutional structure of the Kingdom. It sets the basic principles of government and of the relationship between the state and its citizens, including the foreign residents of the Kingdom. It regulates the various state powers and their mutual-relationships, and it provides the basic rights of citizens. One significant development is the right to free expression within the limits of the Islamic faith and public order. However, although the Basic Law of Government addresses some fundamental legal issues, it is not treated physically like the constitutions of other Arab or Western countries. buy ps5

Monarchial State

The Royal family rules Saudi Arabia, being a monarchial state, and with the promulgation of the Basic Law of Government, it strengthens the King’s authority. Under Article 5 of the law, it states that “the system of government in Saudi Arabia shall be monarchical.” Moreover, under Article 5, section c of the Basic Law, the rules of succession was changed and thus allowing the selection of a king or crown prince from among the offspring of Abdel-Aziz on the basis of “suitability” rather than seniority. On the other hand, while the Basic Law supports the authority of the King in the rules of succession, it is mentioned and outlined in Allegiance Law promulgated in 2006.

Significance of the Saudi Basic Law

The significance of the Basic Law and the Saudi legal system could be distinguished when considering its similarity to the laws of other countries in terms of content. As mentioned above, it confirms the monarchial system of the land. It reaffirms justice, consultation, and the equality of citizens as the principles of government under Islamic Shari’ah. It likewise emphasizes the basic features of the Saudi family and the importance of Islamic values, justice, and the unity of the family.

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