Origins of the Judicial System (1)

The administration and application of the judicial system of Saudi Arabia illustrates the importance of the Ulema (religious leaders). When King Abdul Aziz (Ibn Saud) consolidated his rule over the western part of the Kingdom, he was faced with the existence of three separate judicial systems.

The first was that of the Hijaz, with an Ottoman orientation. The second was that of the Nejd. Under this system, an Amir (similar to a regional governor), with the assistance of one judge, represented the law. The Amir would try to solve the disputes submitted to him or refer them to the judge for a final ruling. The implementation of the judge's decisions was the Amir's duty. The third, more primitive and indigenous, was the tribal law. Here, the conflicting parties would refer their disputes to the individual tribe's law.

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Profile of Saudi Arabia

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