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Saudi Arabia Seeks to End Arbitrary Justice to Win Investors

  • Codifying unpredictable system could help to secure investment
  • Prince says four new draft laws part of comprehensive revamp
Mohammed bin Salman said some of the changes in the judicial system will aid women in particular.

Mohammed bin Salman said some of the changes in the judicial system will aid women in particular.

Photographer: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

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Saudi officials are working to overhaul the country’s unpredictable judicial system by the end of this year, partly to encourage investors long deterred by the perceived arbitrariness of the kingdom’s courts.

Authorities are working to codify a system that has historically granted judges wide discretion to issue rulings based on individual interpretations of Islamic law. This arrangement has created risk for both Saudi and international investors because it can lead to conflicting rulings from different judges even in similar cases, analysts and officials say.