Soon: the Law of Judicial Costs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

The judicial costs law is a project presented by the Ministry of Justice, as a ministerial initiative, to serve litigants before the courts, develop and improve the judicial facility, and raise the level of efficiency and quality of judicial services. The law was approved by the Shura Council on 6/4/2020 AD corresponding to 12 Shawwal 1441 AH, to organize the mechanism for implementing and applying the payment of financial amounts to the various lawsuits and requests submitted by litigants before the courts.

Accordingly, the costs will be imposed with a maximum amount of one million riyals, on all lawsuits of all kinds filed before the courts of first instance, general and commercial, and an independent judicial costs will also be imposed on the lawsuit of the intervening independent of the plaintiff, who requests a judgment for himself, as well as the joined intervenor. The plaintiff, according to his share in the lawsuit, in accordance with Article 6 of the law.

In accordance with Article Three, the law excluded public or private penal cases subordinated to them, labor cases, personal status cases, cases heard before the courts of the Board of Grievances, execution cases, and cases heard before the general or commercial court which end with conciliation before the first session is held. For the provisions of Article Seventeen, the termination lawsuits and requests related to them have also been excluded, so that the judicial costs law does not include these types of cases.

With respect to cases in which a judgment of lack of jurisdiction has been issued, without changing the subject matter of the case, the law stipulates that the costs is not due, when the case is brought forth again before the competent court. On the other hand, if a judgment is issued by the Supreme Court to return the case to the court that issued the objected judgment, there shall be no new judicial costs in this case, bearing in mind that the losing party in the case is obligated to pay the full judicial costs, unless the case ends with reconciliation after the conciliation The first session and before the issuance of the preliminary ruling, the conciliators are obligated to pay the judicial costs equally between them, bearing in mind that the conciliation that takes place after the convening of the first session and before the issuance of the preliminary ruling, reduces the judicial costs to reach a quarter.

But if conciliation in the case takes place before the first session is held, there shall be no judicial costs due in this instance, and therefore the first session in the case shall hold the final decision, which leads either to canceling the entitlement to the judicial costs in full, if the conciliation was before the first session, or reducing it to reach a quarter of the costs to be distributed equally between the conciliators, and that is if the conciliation takes place after the first session, and before the issuance of the preliminary ruling of the case, and this is one of the positive aspects of this law, as it encourages litigants to resort to other consensual alternative methods of settling disputes.

One of the positive aspects that cannot be overlooked in this law is that the failure to pay the judicial costs before filing the case does not prevent the court from hearing the case. Paying the judicial costs is permitted before its establishment, during its progress, or after its end, and this indicates that Flexibility of the law in dealing with litigants before the courts.

With regard to judicial requests, a judicial costs has been imposed for them with a maximum amount of ten thousand riyals, and it is imposed on requests of all kinds, with the exception of requests related to those concerned in relation to a request to deliver a copy of the documents and documents related to the case before the court, after the court’s review, additionally, a judicial costs is not imposed when the judicial request includes an interpretation or correction of a ruling issued by the court, or if the request is the judge’s response, provided that this request is accepted by the circuit. But if the request is rejected, then the judicial costs shall be due at that time, knowing that, if a judgment is issued in favor of the party obligated to pay the judicial costs, he shall be exempted from paying them, and the party against whom the judgment was issued becomes the party obligated to pay the judicial costs.

The cases contained in this law, which are exempted from paying the judicial costs, were stipulated in application and confirmation of the provisions of the state revenue law in the Kingdom, and among those cases; the exemption of prisoners and detainees, as well as lawsuits filed by workers against employers, and special criminal lawsuits if they ended with reconciliation Cases submitted by ministries and government agencies, cases in which arbitrators’ judgments were issued, and cases in which international regulations, agreements and treaties require exemption from judicial fees.

It is worth noting that, according to this law, if a judgment is issued in favor of the party exempted from paying the judicial costs, the other party against whom the judgment was issued is obligated to pay the judicial costs.

Based on the foregoing, it can be concluded that the judicial costs law came as a result of an urgent necessity, in order to eliminate malicious or fictitious lawsuits, reduce the spread of this phenomenon, as well as resort to alternative means for resolving and settling disputes such as mediation or reconciliation, knowing that the money collected as judicial charges that are imposed upon submitting a lawsuit to the competent court shall be allocated to the judicial facility in the Kingdom, through the special account of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Fund.

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