An Expat Guide To The Laws Of Saudi Arabia
Living in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is not that much easy as it seems. If you are an expat and just came to KSA, then you should know about the basic LAWS of Saudi Arabia and abide by them. Any violation in the law can cost up your life or a high amount as punishment. Some of these laws are beneficial for expats. However, some are strict for foreign workers. Read the below article carefully before moving into KSA. Furthermore, we at “EXPATS IN SAUDIA” researched all the LAWS of KSA and presented them for your easiness.
Familiarize Yourself With The Local Laws Of KSA:
We are starting with the help of Allah Almighty. The trustee of the two holy mosques, King Fahd bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, issued a royal decree incorporating the fundamental law of governance. The text of the edict is as follows.
- That the proclamation of the Basic Law of Governance is as the written text.
- Unless amended accordingly, all laws, orders, and enforcement will remain in force until this basic law entrants.
- Publishing of the decree in the Official Gazette and shall come into force on the date of its publication.
Chapter One: General Principles
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an independent Arab Islamic state. His religion is Islam. Also, Its constitution is the Book of God, the Holy Qur’an, and the Sunnah (traditions) of the Prophet (SAW). Arabic is the language of the kingdom. Furthermore, its capital is Riyadh.
The public holidays are Eid-ul-Fitr (Eid-ul-Ramadan) and Eid-ul-Adha (Eid-ul-Adha). Its calendar is after the Hijri year (lunar year).
The state flag is as follows:
(a) It is green in colour.
(b) Its width is equal to two-thirds of its length.
The words: “There is no god but “Allah Almighty” and Muhammad are His messengers” are in the centre under which is the sword. The flag should never be upside down. The law will explain the rules related to flags.
The state emblem represents two open swords with palm trees in the middle of the upper space between them. The law will define state anthems and medals
Chapter Two: The Law Of Governance
- The monarchy is the system of government in Saudi Arabia.
- The country’s rulers will be among the sons and descendants of the founder King Abdul Aziz bin Abdul Rahman Al Faisal Al Saud.
- The most righteous of them will take allegiance according to the Book of God and the Sunnah of His Messenger.
- The Crown Prince will dedicate himself exclusively to his duties as Crown Prince and perform other duties assigned by the King.
- After the King’s death, the crown prince will assume royal authority until the allegiance (allegiance).
In support of the Holy QURAN (The Book of God) and the Sunnah of His Messenger (SAW), citizens will pledge allegiance to the King in times of difficulty and ease.
In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the government derives its authority from the Book of God and the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), which are the ultimate sources of reference to this law and other laws of the State.
According to Islamic law, the government is based on justice, shura (consultation), and equality in Saudi Arabia.
Chapter Three: The Values Of The Saudi Society:
The family lives in Saudi Arabia. The family members will get brought up in the Islamic faith, which requires loyalty and obedience to God, His prophets and rulers, respect and adherence to the laws, and love and pride in the homeland and its glorious history.
The State will seek to promote family ties and Arab Islamic values. It will take care of all the people and provide the right conditions for developing their abilities and skills.
God thoroughly guides Saudi society. The members of this society will cooperate in charity, piety, and harmony.
Strengthening national unity is a duty. The State will prohibit all activities that could lead to division, chaos, and division.
Education aims to awaken the Islamic faith in the hearts of all young people, help them acquire knowledge and skills, enable them to be useful members of their society, and love their homeland and its history.
Chapter Four: Economic Principles
All-natural resources that God has accumulated underground, above ground, in territorial waters or inland and sea areas under the jurisdiction of the State, with the proceeds of these resources, will be the property of the State, as provided by law ۔
The law will state the means for exploiting, protecting, and developing these resources in the State’s best interest and its security and economy.
No concessions or licenses will get granted to exploit any public resources of the country unless authorized by the provisions of law.
Public funds are invincible. The State is going to protect them.
Property, capital, and labour are fundamental components of the monarchy’s economic and social existence. These are personal rights that carry out social work following Islamic law.
The State will guarantee private property and its sanctity. No person shall lose his personal property unless it is in the public interest. In that case, he will get provided adequate compensation.
Prohibition of General confiscation of assets.
No taxes or fees will be levied, except based on necessity and justice. Enforce, amend, repeal or waive will be following the provisions of the law.
Zakat collected will be collected and spent for legitimate expenses.
Economic and social development will get done according to a fair, wise plan.
CHAPTER FIVE: RIGHTS AND DUTIES
The State will protect the Islamic faith, apply the Shari’a, encourage good and discourage evil, and fulfill its duty to preach Islam.
The State will develop and maintain two holy mosques. It will provide care and protection to the pilgrims to perform their Hajj and Umrah and visit the Prophet’s Mosque easily and comfortably.
The State will foster the aspirations of the Arab and Muslim nations for unity and harmony and strengthen relations with friendly states.
The State will protect human rights following Sharia.
The State will guarantee the rights of citizens and their families in case of emergency, illness, disability, and old age. The State will support the social insurance law and encourage organizations and individuals to participate in welfare activities.
The State will provide employment opportunities for every non-disabled person and make laws to protect workers and employers.
The State will sponsor science, letters, and culture. It will encourage scientific research, preserve Islamic and Arab heritage, and contribute to Arab, Islamic, and human civilization.
The State will provide public education and commit itself to eradicate illiteracy.
The State will take care of public health and provide health care to every citizen.
The State will work to protect, preserve and improve the environment as well as prevent pollution.
The State will form armed forces and equip them to defend the Islamic sect, the two holy mosques, society, and the homeland.
It will be the duty of every citizen to defend the Islamic faith, society, and homeland. The law will define rules for military service.
The law will clarify Saudi Arabia’s nationality laws.
The State will protect all citizens and residents of its territories. No one can be imprisoned, arrested, or imprisoned without reference to the law.
Houses are unapproachable. Access does not allow without the permission of their owners. No one can search homes except in cases specified by law.
- No one will get punished for the crimes of another.
- No one can give punishment without reference to the provisions of Sharia or law.
The mass media and all other means of expression will use civil and polite language, contribute to the nation’s education, and strengthen unity. It prohibits acts that cause chaos and division, affect the security of the State and its public relations, or infringe on human dignity and rights. Further details are also present in this article.
No individual or company can violate the privacy of telegraphic and postal communications, telephone, and other means of communication. There will be no seizures, delays, surveillance, or theft, except in cases provided by law.
The people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will abide by its laws. They will respect the values of the Saudi community and respect Saudi traditions and sentiments.
The State will grant the right to political asylum provided it is in the public interest. International treaties and laws will define the rules and procedures for the extradition of common criminals.
Councils convened by the King and Crown Prince will be open to all citizens and anyone else who may have a complaint or grievance. A citizen shall have the right to address public relations and to discuss any matter relating to it.
Chapter Six: State Officials
State officials include:
- Judicial Authority
- Executive Authority
- Serving Authority
The above authorities will cooperate in the performance of their functions following this law or other laws. The King is the final arbiter for these rulers.
The Qur’an and Sunnah (traditions) of the Messenger of God will be the source of fatwas (orders of religious advice). The law will define the hierarchical organization for the formation of the Council, including
- Senior Scholars
- The Research Administration
- The Office of the Mufti, along with their functions.
The judiciary is an independent authority. Judges’ decisions will not be subject to any control other than the authority of Islamic law.
Whether citizens or residents of the State, all people have the right to sue on an equal footing. The law will define procedures for this purpose.
The courts apply the rules of Islamic law in the cases that are present before them, following the Qur’an and Sunnah and following the laws that govern the Qur’an and Sunnah.
The courts have the power to arbitrate all disputes and offenses following the provisions of Article 53 of this Act.
The King or whomever he appoints will take care of the enforcement of court orders.
The law will define the structure and functions of the Supreme Judicial Council and the classification of courts and their functions.
According to the provisions of the law, judges will get appointed and dismissed by a royal decree based on a proposal by the Supreme Judicial Council.
The law will define the classification of the Complaints Board and its functions.
The law will define the relationship between the Commission of Inquiry and the Attorney General and their organization and functions.
The King will rule the nation according to the law. He will also oversee the implementation of Sharia, the general policy of the State, and the country’s defense and security.
The King is the prime minister. The members of the Council of Ministers shall assist it in carrying out its mission following the provisions of this Act and other laws. The Council of Ministers’ Law will define the Council’s powers regarding internal and external affairs, the organization of government departments, and their coordination. In addition, the law will clarify the qualifications and strengths of ministers, ministerial accountability procedures, and all matters relating to the ministers. The “Council of Ministers” Law and the areas of their powers may get amended following this law.
- The King will, by royal decree, appoint and dismiss the prime minister and the deputy members of the Council.
- The Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers will be jointly responsible to the King for implementing Sharia, laws and general policy of the State.
- The King has the right to dissolve and reconstitute the Council of Ministers.
The King will appoint ministers and deputy ministers and those who are at the highest level and will remove them by royal decree according to the law. Ministers and heads of independent departments will be accountable to the King for the ministries and agencies they head.
The law will define civil service laws, including salaries, awards, compensation, benefits, and pensions after retirement.
The King of Saudi Arabia is the supreme commander of the armed forces. He shall appoint and dismiss service officers following the requirements of the law.
The King will declare any state of emergency or general mobilization and declare war. The law will formulate rules for this purpose.
If a threat threatens the security of the kingdom, the integrity of its territories or the safety and interests of its people, or the functioning of government institutions, the King must take immediate action to deal with such a threat. can do. When he thinks these measures should continue, the necessary arrangements will get made following the law.
The King will receive the kings and heads of State, appoint his representatives to other states, and receive the credentials of the representatives of other states under his command.
The King will give medals according to the provisions of the law.
The King can give some power to the crown by royal decree.
If the King had to travel abroad, he would issue a royal decree appointing the crown prince to run the State’s affairs and look after the interests of the people, as stated in the royal order.
According to Sharia, the regulatory authority will be concerned with making laws and regulations that protect all interests and remove evil from the affairs of the State. Its powers shall get exercised following this Act and the Act of the Council of Ministers.
- A Shura Council will get set up.
- Its law will detail its composition, powers and selection of members.
- The King can dissolve and reconstitute the Majlis-e-Shura.
The King may convene a joint meeting of the Majlis-e-Shura and the Council of Ministers. He may invite others he deems necessary to attend the meeting and discuss whatever matters he deems appropriate.
Laws, international treaties, treaties, and concessions will be adopted and amended by royal decrees.
The rules will be published in the Official Gazette and will come into force from the date of publication unless another date sets.
Chapter Seven: Financial Matters
- The law will include provisions for state revenue and deposits in the State’s general treasury.
- Income will be recorded and spent following the provisions of the law.
No commitment will get made to pay the money to the General Treasury without complying with the budget rules. If the budget clauses cannot meet the demand, a provision will get made by royal decree.
State assets may not be sold, rented, or disposed of unless otherwise permitted by law.
The rules will define the provisions of currency, banks, standards, measures, and weights.
- The law will set a fiscal year for the State.
- The budget will get announced following the royal decree.
- It will estimate revenue and expenditure one month before the next financial year.
- If the budget cannot get released before the start of the new financial year due to compelling reasons, then the previous year’s budget will remain in force until the new budget can be released.
The competent department will prepare last year’s final account of the State and send it to the Prime Minister.
The closure of budgets and accounts of departments with corporate rights will be subject to the same procedures for closing state budgets and account reports.
Chapter Eight: Institutions Of Audit
All state revenue, expenditure, and movable and fixed assets will get audited to ensure proper use and management. An annual report in this regard will get sent to the Prime Minister. The law will specify the details of the authorized auditing body, its affiliations, and areas of authority.
Government agencies will also get audited to ensure proper administrative performance and law enforcement. Financial and administrative violations will get investigated. The annual report will get sent to the Prime Minister. The law will explain the details of the competent authority in charge, its affiliations, and the areas of jurisdiction.
Chapter Nine: General Principles
Concerning treaties and agreements, applying this law will not violate Saudi Arabia’s commitments to other states, international organizations, and institutions.
No provision of this law may get suspended except on temporary grounds, such as during a war or declaration of a state of emergency. Such suspension shall be following the provisions of the law and may not violate Article 7.
No amendment will get made to this law except as it was issued.