Saudi Arabia’s legal system is highly peculiar because it’s a fusion of the arch-conservative Wahhabi sect of Islam which as we saw grew out of that Hanbali school of jurisprudence which is

Please based on the reading, Human rights activists have made a number of complaints about Saudi Arabia’s system of criminal courts. What are some of these complaints? Does Saudi Arabia respect the rights of the accused?
Saudi Arabia’s legal system is highly peculiar because it’s a fusion of the arch-conservative Wahhabi sect of Islam which as we saw grew out of that Hanbali school of jurisprudence which is the smallest of the schools, the most reductionist, the most fundamentalist of the schools. The fusion of that arch-conservative Wahhabi sect with the house of Saud, the ruling family. Criminal law is not written. There’s no single criminal code. Criminal law is contained in the King’s decrees and falls to the discretion of the judge’s, the Qadi’s. Non Islamic religions are banned in Saudi Arabia. That’s unusual for an Islamic country. Saudi Arabia also has a religious police which operates as a powerful vigilante force to punish deviance from Islam, to whip for instance, women who drive in certain areas, or, people who hang out with foreigners, or women who wear makeup, a suspected homosexual or of Christian or Jewish activity. Other religious police will harass people in shopping malls, for instance. They’re a frequent target of human rights activists who complain about the religious police, that they’re this powerful vigilante force that the state can’t quite control, and there’s a lot of suspected human rights abuses that come out of that police force. Now, Saudi Arabia is a member of the global economy. It’s a major oil and gas producer. It has a very modern banking sector. For instance, it cannot have expensive or multi-million dollar oil contracts going to Islamic courts. There’s just too much at stake. So Saudi Arabia does have a secular court system. Criminal law, however, goes to the Islamic courts system, it doesn’t go to the secular court system. Criminal cases go to the High Court, and the Court of Appeal, and then the Sharia court. There’s a special review process for hudud defenses that allows an extra layer of review in death penalty cases and for certain punishments, such as amputation or stoning. In Saudi Arabia, the fiqh, what we call the Islamic jurisprudence, that body of collective writings by the medieval Islamic scholars is a primary source of law. That things can be criminalized in Saudi Arabia based on what’s in the fiqh. Decrees or regulations of the king are a secondary source. Fiqh prevails over nizam, the King’s decrees. Cases must start in a Sharia court in Saudi Arabia, but they can be transferred to a non Sharia court if the dispute does not implicate religious principles, such as oil contracts and commercial disputes. The commercial court was first established in 1931, when the ruling family began to modernize Saudi Arabia’s economy began to open as Saudi Arabia’s mineral extraction to the global economy. Generally, Sharia judges are very conservative religiously trained men. They are trained in religious law. That makes it unlikely that they will apply a more liberal or expansionist version of Islamic law or that they’ll broadly apply the King’s decrees. They frequently do ignore the King’s decrees. Legal representation is not provided in Saudi Arabia trials. Sharia is believed to be a sufficient enough protection for an accused person. Foreigners are frequently allowed to have lawyers, but there’s many abuses especially of political dissidents in Saudi Arabia, of migrant workers such as Bangladeshis or others who come to Saudi Arabia to work in the extractive sector. Plagiarism Free Papers

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