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Prison, fine and lashes for filing malicious suits: Justice Ministry

The decision is aimed at cutting down the number of the malicious complaints filed at courts by some people just to avenge their adversaries

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Discretionary punishments, including fines, imprisonment and lashes, may be given to people who file malicious complaints in courts, the Justice Ministry said on Wednesday.

It said the decision is aimed at cutting down the number of the malicious complaints filed at courts by some people just to avenge their adversaries. "We are currently preparing the system of the judicial costs and expenditures, which is primarily targeting malicious complaints," the ministry said.

It said the system will boost the level of justice in courts, save the time of judges and stop people from filing malicious cases.

Mohammed Amin Mirdad, member of the Supreme Judiciary Council, said the new system would spare the judges of much time and effort they spend on considering lawsuits. "The system will also prevent a lot of differences that may crop up in society as a result of such complaints," he added.

Mirdad believes that the system will upgrade the level of justice within the project of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah to reform the judiciary. "The Supreme Judiciary Council and the ministry will soon finalize drafting the system to be effective immediately," he said.

Majed Garoub, lawyer and legal consultant, described the move to be extremely significant and said it will curb the growing phenomenon of malicious complaints that constitute a real burden on courts.

He suggested that the system should also include fees on lawsuits so that anyone will think twice before filing a complaint.

"The system of free litigation in the Kingdom has led to the rising phenomenon of malicious cases," he said.

Garoub, who is the secretary-general of the International Union of Lawyers, said the Kingdom's judicial system makes it easy for anyone to file court complaints because he will not be asked to appoint a lawyer to do this for him.

Lawyer Abdullah Marie Bin-Mahfouz, chairman of the national committee to care for prisoners and their families, said a large number of the malicious complaints were only meant to exhaust the litigants.

"It has become extremely important to introduce a system that will stop people from filing malicious or fake lawsuits," he said.

This article was originally published in Saudi Gazette on June 11, 2014