RIYADH, October 19, 2017 – Saudi Arabia has officially launched commercial courts this week, almost a month after they began operations in the country’s three major cities – Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam. The move is part of the Vision 2030 initiative to revitalize the business environment, fuel investment and accelerate economic development in the Kingdom.
Justice Minister Walid Al Samaani, who launched the courts and appeals process in other cities, said that these legal entities would foster a business environment built on trust and transparency, and expedite the resolution of commercial disputes.
Al Saamani called the start of operations of these courts “a quantum leap and a major development for specialized courts” in Saudi Arabia.
By streamlining commercial dispute judicial procedures, expectations are that it will enhance the business environment, encourage investment and boost economic development, in line with the objectives of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, which aims to diversify the economy beyond dependency on oil.
Specialised commercial courts “will also achieve a quantum shift in the speed of adjudication of commercial disputes and the quality of the judicial output,” the Minister added in a speech at the official launch ceremony earlier this week in the capital Riyadh.
Al Samaani also highlighted the ministry’s initiatives to digitize its operations and services, saying that the ministry’s “paperless-court” project has cut bureaucratic procedures by some 45 per cent and shortened the period for execution of judicial orders from two months to 72 hours by activating the electronic linking system that connects all entities involved in that procedure.
The minister added that this e-link currently serves 19 government agencies and provides about 60 e-services to clients.
The ministry has also begun implementing the e-link in the courts of first instance and the appeals courts in order to electronically transfer all records of cases to the appeals courts when necessary.