Litigation in Saudi Arabia: Recently Launched E-Litigation Services Expedite Resolution of Disputes

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White & Case LLPOn 7 June 2020, the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Justice (MoJ) implemented extensive e-litigation services that will facilitate litigation proceedings during the pandemic period, and will be a sustainable part of litigation in Saudi Arabia.

E-Litigation Services

On 7 June 2020, the MoJ implemented e-litigation services that enable litigants to complete numerous litigation procedures on a virtual basis, and without the need to be present in court. For example, the recently launched e-litigation services include the exchange of pleadings, submission of documents to courts, holding of virtual hearings, declaration and issuance of judgements, and appeal. 

Within only a few days from the launch of its e-litigation services, through its Najiz e-platform, the MoJ received over 7,000 written pleadings, held over 700 virtual hearings, and issued over 500 judgements, showing a promising level of success from the initial days of the launch of the services. 

To ensure the robustness of its e-litigation services, the MoJ will review the procedural guide for the e-litigation services on a monthly basis.

Digital Transformation in the MoJ

The MoJ has been actively modernizing and digitizing its services as part of its digital transformation initiative. The recent launch of the e-litigation services marks a major milestone in the MoJ’s digital transformation initiative. 

The MoJ’s digital transformation efforts included adopting paperless procedures, fully digitizing the application and process for obtaining the Saudi law practice license, and issuing electronic powers of attorney. Further, prior to the launch of the e-litigation services, the MoJ offered litigants before commercial courts a wide variety of e-services, including filing cases and viewing case details, in an effort to facilitate judicial services for the business and investment sectors.

In early 2020, the MoJ launched its Nafith e-platform that enables the issuance of promissory notes on a secure electronic basis. Further, the MoJ offers an e-service for Saudi parties to a real estate transaction to transfer title deeds, for real estate within a certain value, on an electronic basis. In June 2020, the MoJ announced the increase of the cap on the value of e-transferable real estate from 1 million to 3 million Saudi Riyals.

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