What Type Of Law Does Saudi Arabia Follow


Saudi Arabia is considered one of the most influential countries in the Middle East region. This is largely due to the robust infrastructure it has built over the years, as well as its vast oil reserves and the sway it enjoys in the region. Along with its strength in the region, much of the nation’s success is owed to its sophisticated and complex legal system. Whether it is internal or external matters, Saudi Arabia has developed a framework of laws that the nation ultimately relies upon. What type of law does Saudi Arabia follow? This is a question that can receive an answer with a multifaceted answer.

Code of Law and Its Implementation

The type of law practiced in Saudi Arabia is an interesting combination of Sharia law and existing international law, making it a unique legal system. In particular, Saudi Arabia’s legal system is largely based upon the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Over time, however, the nation has enacted laws over the years which can can have some overlap with international agreements and statutes. Saudi Arabian law has been criticized for being oppressive and violating various human rights laws, due in part to its adherence to Sharia law.

Criminal Justice System

The Saudi Arabian criminal justice system is different from many others that you may have come across. As it is based on a combination of Sharia law and existing international law, it can be difficult to differentiate between the two. Saudi Arabia does not have a court system and instead uses Sharia as the main source of law. This means that defendants in a criminal case do not have access to due process.

Civil Law

Saudi Arabian civil law is much less strict than its criminal law. It relies on the Civil Law Act, which states that individuals can take civil action if they feel that their rights, property or business interests have been infringed upon. Civil legal cases in Saudi Arabia are brought before the courts and the legal system does provide some due process. It is possible to file lawsuits and appeals and have civil rights that are protected by the law.

Family Law

Family law in Saudi Arabia is determined by Sharia law and is enshrined in the Saudi Arabian Penal Code. It is an area of law that contains many complex rules and regulations. It covers the legal rights of the divorced, inheritance rights, custody rights and other family matters.

Labour Law

Saudi Arabian labour law is very different from the laws of other countries. The Labour Law of 2014 is the basis for the labour laws and regulations in the country. Under this law, employers must provide certain rights to their employees, such as rest periods, paid leave and salary guarantees. The law also states that it is not permissible to terminate employees without cause and that employers must provide a safe working environment.

Intellectual Property Rights

Saudi Arabian intellectual property law is governed by the Law of Patents and Industrial Designs, which was established in 1996. The law provides protection for inventions, trade secrets and copyrights in the country. It also outlines the requirements for registering patents, trademarks and copyrights and provides remedies for infringement of these rights.

Environmental Laws

Saudi Arabia has a number of environmental laws and regulations that are aimed at preserving the environment. The Law on Establishing Environmental Protection and Preservation Councils, which was introduced in 2004, is the foundation for the country’s environmental protection initiatives. It outlines the responsibilities of the various councils in terms of conservation and environmental sustainability.


In conclusion, the type of law that Saudi Arabia follows is unique and complex. It is based upon elements of Sharia law and existing international law. The type of law practiced in Saudi Arabia has been heavily criticized but has also provided a framework for the nation’s success. The legal system provides rights and protections for citizens and businesses, as well as safeguards for intellectual property and protection for the environment.

Jose Richard

Jose M. Richard is a journalist and author based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. With over a decade of experience in journalism, Jose has written extensively on Saudi Arabia and the wider Middle East region. Jose is passionate about promoting understanding of the region and its people, and his work has been recognised with international awards.

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