Arbitration as an Alternative Means for Ordinary Courts in Settling Disputes

Arbitration now occupies a wide range of attention in the present day in terms of performance and development; as it is considered an alternative means for the judiciary in the settlement of disputes; especially with regard to the commercial and international disputes, which made Saudi Arabia give it this attention lately in line with the new economic measures pursued by the Kingdom; as it issued the new Arbitration System issued by Royal Decree No. (M/34) on 24/5/1433 AH; and that is for the purposes of finding alternative solutions to reduce the burden on the ordinary courts. Therefore, I will give a brief overview for the comparisons between the arbitration and ordinary courts.

When comparing arbitration and the courts, we should refer to the several points characterizing arbitration, which made it one of the most important alternative means for settling disputes, namely:

Rulings of the Foreign Arbitrators and their provision with the Force of Res Judicata

Arbitrators have the force of res judicata, and it will be enforceable after being appended to the implementation order as indicated in Article (9), paragraph (2) of the Implementation System, which states that if the ruling of the foreign arbitration was included in any violation of the provisions of the Islamic Sharia or Public Order in the Kingdom, the violating section will not be implemented as stated in Article (9), paragraph (1) of the Implementation System. Furthermore, the ruling of the foreign arbitrators must not conflict with any ruling or order made in the same object from the competent judicial authority in the Kingdom.
In regard to the body entrusted with the implementation of the arbitrators’ rulings, it is worth mentioning that the arbitration has witnessed an amendment to the competence of the implementation of the foreign arbitrators’ rulings, and that was with the issuance of the Saudi Implementation System through the Royal Decree No.(53) on 13/8/1433 AH; as the Article (96) thereof abolished the competence of the Board of Grievance in implementing the rulings of the foreign arbitrators after maintaining the competence of its implementation for a long time as stipulated in paragraph (G) of Article (13) of the Board of Grievances System. Therefore, the arbitration implementation body has been unified in regard to the national and foreign arbitration ruling; and its competence became the responsibility of the implementation departments at the public courts as stipulated in Article (8).
Finally, the Legislator’s interest was evident in determining a judge specialized in enforcing the foreign rulings, and that was in Article (14) of the Implementation System, which stipulates that the judicial rulings and orders, the arbitrators’ rulings and the documented releases issued from a foreign country must be submitted to the implementation judge specialized in implementing the foreign rulings; in order to verify that the document has met the implementation conditions and to place the implementation seal on it.

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