Saudi Gazette runs an opinion piece from the Arabic daily Al-Riyadh that comments on judicial reform in Saudi Arabia. It’s not enough to just write laws, the author says. It’s not enough to have those laws provide the basis of judicial verdicts, either. What Saudi Arabia is lacking at present is enforcement of its laws. Even in the face of a verdict, one found responsible for an offense can avoid its implications by simply refusing to do what the court has ordered. Without the ability to execute the laws, there really is no rule of law, or justice.
A judiciary flying with one wing
Abid Khazandar | Al-Riyadh newspaper
To fly with one wing – this is a true story that I told before. I see nothing wrong in telling this story again because there is a valuable lesson to be learned.
When Charles de Gaulle came to power in France after World War Two, he convened the first meeting of the Council of Ministers. During the meeting, de Gaulle asked his ministers on the general situation in France (de Gaulle lived in London during the days of the war). They told him that the economy was bad, and the education and administration sectors were also performing poorly. Then, he asked them about the judiciary. They told him that corruption had not hit the judiciary yet, to which he replied: “So we can restore glory to France. If the judiciary is just, then we can reform the state.”
Justice is the basis of rule of law, and judiciary is the guardian of law.
In the Kingdom, rules and regulations are issued but never executed, especially in financial matters. This means that our judiciary is trying to fly with one wing, which is impossible.