Monday, February 22, 2010

Saudi Arabia to Have Women Lawyers

RIYADH, Feb 21: Saudi Arabia would soon allow women lawyers to appear in court, though apparently only to represent other women, the country’s justice minister said in comments published on Sunday. Justice Minister Mohammed Al-Issa said the ministry is drafting new rules to permit female lawyers to argue family cases, Saudi newspapers reported.

The women would be able to represent women in marriage, divorce, custody and other family cases, the newspapers said.

Female lawyers in the kingdom can currently work only inside the women’s sections of law and government offices, where they do not come into contact with men. All judges in the kingdom are male religious clerics.

As part of ongoing judicial reforms, the Saudi government is developing a network of specialised courts, including “personal status” or family courts, where the women lawyers would be allowed to practice.—AFP

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