Chapter 1: Abstract
The jury system can be traced from the ancient English system. The jury system was introduced in the United Kingdom in the 12th century by Henry II. During this period, the jury system was meant to hear and determine land disputes. The jury was initially made up of about twelve free men. The jury system practice is now common in the United States of America. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an Islamic state. The country’s judicial system is based on Islamic laws, popularly known as Sharia laws. At the apex of the country’s legal system is the king. The system grants the king the powers of a court of appeal and a source of pardon. Furthermore, the kingdom’s legal system is divided into three main parts, that is, the Sharia courts, Board of Grievances, and the third part is the various governmental committees within the ministries. The three main components of the kingdom’s judicial system are further divided into sub-groups. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia does not practice the modern law because its form of the legal system does not adhere to Montesquieu theory and spirit of separation of power. The kingdom does not promote separation of power, and the executive is allowed to conduct the functions of the judiciary. The United States judicial system allows for complete separation of powers. The three arms of government are interdependent but every institution is independent, and their functions do not overlap. The same method is applied in Malaysia. The country is based on the common law system, and every arm of the government is independent of the other. When you compare the judicial system of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and that of the United States of America and Malaysia, you will notice that they all embrace the separation of powers except the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where the executive can assume the duties of the judiciary.
Chapter 2: Introduction
Separation of powers between the three main arms of government is a doctrine that was introduced by Montesquieu. The theory requires that the three arms of government be interdependent. Furthermore, the principle requires the functions of the legislature, judiciary, and executive not to overlap. Though the arms of government are interlinked the Montesquieu doctrine mandates every arm of government should be independent in executing their respective functions. The United States of America and Malaysia religiously follow the Montesquieu doctrine. The judiciary, legislature, and the executive all have unique roles, and they are interdependent. However, they are all required to provide checks and balances in the execution of their respective duties. In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, they have a unique judicial system that does not adhere to the rules of separation of powers. The King acts as the court of appeal and has the power to pardon offenders. Furthermore, some of the judicial functions are carried out by ministerial committees. This illustrates that the roles of the executive overlaps and affects the duties of the courts. The executive should provide check and balances but not to assume the responsibilities of the judiciary. Therefore, the judicial system of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia does not adhere to the doctrine of separation of powers.
Chapter 3: Why Saudi Arabia shall implement the Jury System?
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has numerously tried to change their judicial system in a quest to make it fairer in the dispensation of justice in the country. In 2005, a royal order approved the country’s plan to reevaluate and to reorganize their judicial system. The changes were adopted in 2007 by royal decree. The changes included the introduction of a Supreme Court, an administrative court, and a special commercial and labor courts (Abramson, 2000). However, the kingdom’s judicial system continues to hinder the process of separation of power. The country needs to implement the jury system.
Advantages of the Jury System
The judicial system should be one that citizens have confidence in it and how it functions. Public trust is among the fundamentals of a democratic society. The citizens must have faith in their judges and the decisions of the court. The jury system is important because it enables people to understand that the judiciary is independent and the process lacks biases. When a jury is involved in the legal process, the public can be part of the system (Vogel, 2000). The decisions of the courts are considered to be fair because they are an accurate reflection of the demands of the public. The fairness in the judgments of the court leads to an increase in public confidence.
An open system of Justice
The jury system encourages a free system of justice where the public is involved in the hearing and determination of cases. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia needs such a system because it promotes credibility and fairness in decision making. The parties to a lawsuit are confident that the decision will not be prejudicial and all factors of the case will be considered before a judgment is rendered. Additionally, this boosts the public confidence in the process and enhances the administration of justice. Furthermore, the open system of judgments hinders corruption-related cases which are common in various judicial systems. If the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia implements the jury system, it will automatically abolish and limit the powers of ministerial committees in the provision of justice (Aun, 1975). The courts will be able to independently listen and determine cases through the assistance of the jurors. The process will boost public confidence and promote the administration of justice in the country.
Secrecy of the Jury Room
The members of the jury are always protected and are law-abiding citizens whose primary goal is to enhance fairness and justice. The jury room is guarded and decisions reached after the deliberation of the parties. The jurors can deliberate on the facts of the case and arrive in a decision that they consider to be fair and just. Furthermore, the process is secure because of the secrecy accompanied by the jury room. The jurors are not able to interact with the outside world during the decision-making process (Niblock, 2004). This scenario limits the chances of bribes by the parties for the final decision to favor them. Lawyers are required to explain the facts of the cases for the public to understand. Therefore, the public is allowed to take part in the administration of justice. The secrecy of the jury room is essential because it also enhances credibility in the provision of justice. The jurors independently decide on the outcome of the case after considering all the required facts of the case. The decision remains a secret until the process is complete and it is presented in court (Bhatt, 2005). Moreover, the jurors are under surveillance, and any person suspected of unwanted behavior or their credibility is in question are suspended from the process.
Through the jury system, the United States has managed to boost public confidence and transparency in their administration of justice. The public can follow and understand the proceeding and the decisions made reflect the feeling of the society and justice. Malaysia abandoned the jury system, but the court process promotes the separation of powers and enables fair administration of justice because the court process is televised, and the public has access to court documents (Esmaeili, 2009). Judges must promote justice and enhance transparency in their decisions.
Chapter 4: The Problem of the Present System in Saudi Arabia?
The repugnant nature of the Saudi Arabia laws has prompted the country to develop a National Transformation Program whose main aim is to help the country achieve its 2030 goals. Part of the targets includes a transformed judicial service that is fair in its outcomes. The significant challenges facing the current system include:
Lack of Transparency
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia relies on Sharia laws for both criminal and civil cases. Some of the statutes are repugnant and do not promote access to justice. Furthermore, the rules are biased toward women and criminals. Therefore, they do not support access to justice for all parties. The judgments based on Sharia laws lack codification or a system of precedence (Jonakait, 2006). Therefore, most of the legal decisions made by the courts require legal backing. The judges have the discretion of making the decisions based on their feelings and thoughts. The court process in the country should be transparent and promote fairness. However, the current system does not have measures to improve transparency in the judicial system. The decision of the courts can lack legal backing, and the judges have the power to make decisions only based on their instincts.
Backlog of Cases
The current legal system in Saudi Arabia leads to delay of cases. The number of courts and judges are limited. This directly affects the provision of justice to the public. The country needs to adopt the electronic system of recording cases to avoid the backlog of cases. Furthermore, the judicial system requires more judges to fasten the rate of hearing and determining cases (Aun, 1975). An increase in the number of judges will automatically fight the backlog of cases and lead to the reduction of the process. Additionally, the courts should have more departments that can facilitate different type of cases.
Lack of Separation of Powers
The country does not enjoy complete separation of powers. The executive through the ministerial committees can listen and determine some cases. The three arms of the government should be interdependent but independent from one another. The legislature, executive, and the judiciary should provide checks and balances but not to interfere with the duties of one of the arms of government (Vogel, 2000). Therefore, this system should be abolished and issues of hearing and listening to cases be left to the judiciary. This will promote access to justice and boost public confidence.
Curtailing Democratic Rights
The primary purpose of the judiciary is to protect and promote human rights. The court in Saudi Arabia is fond of jailing people who peacefully advocate for their democratic rights. The legal system should be able to enhance and protect its citizens’ democratic rights (Bhatt, 2005). Therefore, the judiciary should increase the public confidence by allowing people to demonstrate and air out their opinions peacefully. Freedom of speech and association are essential rights that are universally protected.
The United States of America and Malaysia have an advanced judicial system that promotes transparency and separation of powers. The rights of the citizens are upheld as opposed to Saudi Arabia. People in the United States have the right to demonstrate and critic judicial decisions without being condemned and jailed for their actions. Furthermore, the two countries have codified laws thus their decisions are based on precedence (Esmaeili, 2009). Therefore, the decisions of the courts are based on legal backing and can be critiqued. However, the court decisions in Saudi Arabia lack legal support.
Chapter 5: The adequacy of the modern law in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia?
The modern law in the United States and Malaysia are consistent with the country’s respective Constitution. The United States and Malaysia do not have repugnant laws that curtail the freedoms and rights of their citizens. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia should modify their rules to be consistent with the international conventions and treaties (Bhatt, 2005). The purpose of the regulations should be to protect citizens and not to curtail them from enjoying their freedoms. Furthermore, the laws should not be biased. The laws should be able to treat both women and men equally.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a judicial system that does not promote access to justice. Therefore, the country should embrace the jury system in their bid to make their courts more justifiable. Compared to the court systems in the United States and Malaysia, the Saudi Arabian process is repugnant and require reorganization. The country has outlined this to be one of their 2030 vision goals. Saudi Arabia has embarked on activities that are aimed to revamp their judiciary and the legal system to be up to date with the modern countries. The introduction of the jury system in the country will promote access to justice and boost public confidence. Furthermore, the state needs to abolish the repugnant Sharia laws and formulate laws that promote equity before the laws.
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