Saudi court of whining recruits women to do the nagging for them

Published December 17th, 2012 - 11:26 GMT
This budding female lawyer has a brighter future now.
This budding female lawyer has a brighter future now.

The Court of Grievances will conduct recruitment tests to employ women candidates to work in their various offices across the country.

“Initially female employees will be assigned tasks such as manning inquiry desks, registering cases and delivering copies of verdicts and checking the identity of female clients,” spokesman of the court Bandar Al-Falih said in a statement.

The female section will be furnished to suit the needs of women employees and equipped with advanced devices, an official said.

Speaking on the method of selecting candidates, Al-Falih said the president of the court recently appointed an action team to establish the female departments and identify the jobs available for women.

A royal order was issued earlier to expedite the process of opening female sections in courts, Al-Hayat daily reported yesterday.

The Ministry of Justice has announced that it will allow female lawyers to apply for licenses and to argue cases in court, about two months ago. The qualification required for the license is three years’ experience working in a law firm after graduation from a law school. Most of the Saudi female legal experts attained their law degree abroad because the only law department in the Kingdom is at King Saud University in Riyadh.

The ministry’s move is expected to open a slew of opportunities for women not just in the legal profession but also across the entire work force.

Saudi women have been demanding permission to practice law on an equal footing with men for quite some time.

A considerable number of trial cases involve women and therefore it is quite natural that women feel more comfortable dealing with lawyers from their own gender, rather than male lawyers, advocates argued.

The increasing number of female entrepreneurs in the country will most likely also wish to seek guidance and legal advice from legal experts of their own gender.

No Saudi law has ever directly stipulated that women should not be allowed to practice law.

In 2007, a group of women working with the National Society for Human Rights published a study, arguing that women lawyers should have equal rights to practice law.

Opportunities for new women lawyers are enormous. It is estimated that the Kingdom has just 2,115 licensed lawyers — a remarkably small number for a country with a population of 28 million.

Many legal firms believe that women lawyers have the potential to attract greater numbers of female clients and are capitalizing on the moment by rushing to sign agreements and contracts with women lawyers.

Do you think this is a sign of increasing pluralism? Or is it just a drop in the ocean? Let us know your thoughts below.

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