Saudi has officially launched its commercial courts on Sunday, almost a month after they began operations, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
Three commercial courts have been opened in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam and specialised commercial chambers have been set up within public courts in several Saudi cities, confirmed Sheikh Walid bin Muhammad Al-Sama’ani, minister of Justice and chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council.
Specialised appeals chambers with 173 judges have also been established.
The opening of the specialised courts is aimed to “positively impact” the justice system and help “uphold people’s rights and ensure a sound business environment full of trust and stability”, said Al-Sama’ani.
He also indicated that the commercial courts would motivate investment in the Kingdom, and boost economic development, in line with the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030.
“General courts in regions have also been assigned adjudication of certain commercial cases to facilitate litigation,” Al-Sama’ani added.
The justice ministry has also been working to promote and develop the execution judiciary, he said.
The total number of applications for execution received by execution courts and chambers throughout the kingdom for the year 1438H (October 2016- September 2017) amounted to more than 444,000, with the total amount exceeding SAR193bn, an increase of 440 per cent compared to the previous year.
Commercial documents accounted for 75 per cent of the total number of executive deeds submitted to the courts.
Meanwhile, Al-Sama’ani also highlighted the ministry’s initiatives to digitise its operations and services.
The ministry has launched the ‘paperless court’ project, which has cut around 45 per cent of the procedures and shortened the period for execution of judicial orders from two months to 72 hours by activating the electronic linking system with related entities.
This e-link has been activated so far with 19 government agencies providing around 60 e-services to clients.
The ministry has also started the gradual implementation of establishing the e-link between the courts of first instance and appeals courts to electronically transfer the full case – this is expected to make the process 30 days shorter, added Al-Sama’ani.