Women lawyers get permission to practice in Saudi courts

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A group of Saudi female lawyers attend to a law expert from the Freedom House in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Photo – familylaw-khaleej.org

Women lawyers in Saudi Arabia have been allowed to practice in the Saudi courts according to a justice ministry directive published on Wednesday.

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Justice decided to permit women lawyers to practice in courts starting from next month. However, the expert committee designated by the Ministry has put forward a set of statutes governing the entry of women in courts.

According to reports, the statutes will be implemented after the reopening of courts after Eid holidays. The statutes do not differentiate between men and women, but explained the existing system in general and special terms and conditions for practising women lawyers.

The original draft restricted women from dealing with male clients and required them to have a special and closed office. They were not permitted to directly present the case. However, the experts committee changed the decision and now considers implementing the same regulation for all.

Under the existing regulations, a lawyer should inform her office details to the ministry and she will face penal measures whenever she commits any violation of professional rules. Other conditions include getting a lawyer’s license and apprenticeship of three-year duration at an accredited lawyer’s office. It also recommends that she should be experienced in teaching jurisprudence and principle of Islamic law in the universities.

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