Women to work in Saudi courts: Justice minister


“We have come up with a mechanism in which women can reach judges without having to mingle with men,” said Al-Asheikh.

“These reception centers will deal with women visitors and convey their requests to judges.”

Speaking to reporters on a host of issues after a meeting with members of the Human Rights Commission (HRC), Al-Asheikh said that law graduates in the Kingdom would be accepted by the Ministry of Justice to work as legal experts along with Shariah judges.

Commenting on Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah’s call for stricter punishment for rapists following the pardoning of the “Qatif Girl” last year, Al-Asheikh said the matter was still in court and, therefore, he was unable to comment.

Asked whether Fatima and Mansour’s case — the couple who were forcefully divorced by a court in Al-Jouf in 2005 — would be sent to the Supreme Judicial Council, Al-Asheikh remarked, “The case has already been looked at in court.”

Regarding delays in issuing rulings, the minister said the Kingdom’s courts had become more efficient.

He added that issues with the slow administration of justice were not just confined to the Kingdom but exist universally.

Replying to a question about shortage of judges in the Kingdom — according to the HRC, there are only 1,300 judges in Saudi Arabia and that each judge issues rulings on around 560 cases per year — Al-Asheikh admitted, “The number of judges has still not reached desired levels.”

The minister also denied there was discrimination in the appointment of judges and that judges from certain regions of the Kingdom were being favored.

“That is nothing but newspaper talk,” he said. “The judiciary is open to anyone qualified to apply.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *