20 Saudi women lawyers get green light to practice in courts

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The Saudi Justice Ministry has granted licenses to 20 Saudi women lawyers to practice the profession and appear before courts to represent their clients, a local newspaper said.

“The lawyers have successfully met all the terms and conditions required for defending litigants before courts,” lawyer Majed Garoub, a member of the ministry’s department of lawyers, told Makkah daily.

He said the ministry has also granted 10 other women trainee lawyer licenses. “These trainees will be given final licenses to practice law once they have gained the required years of experience,” he added.

Garoub said the department does not differentiate between men and women when granting licenses to practice law. He said an increasing number of women lawyers are applying for licenses. He recalled the department had earlier granted licenses to four Saudi women lawyers and said they can take handle all sorts of cases before the judges.

Garoub welcomed the introduction of a fingerprinting system to verify lawyers’ identities.

The ministry, on the other hand, announced on its website that its department of lawyers will accept all applications for registration and recognition. “The applicants should fill in and sign a special form and an affidavit for lawyers at the department’s reception,” it said.

It said a special committee from the department would meet to consider the applications and make a decision to accept, refuse or postpone them.

“The accepted lawyers will be notified to come personally to the department to collect their licenses and their special IDs for lawyers,” the ministry said.

It said applicants whose applications are refused could appeal to the Board of Grievances within 60 days.

The ministry said lawyers whose applications are postponed would be contacted to complete their documents before they are submitted for a second time to the committee.

This article was originally published in Saudi Gazette on June 18, 2014.