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Saudi Arabia

The legal system in Saudi Arabia is based almost entirely on the Sharia.  Therefore, the Quran and sunna are regarded as the Constitution.  In 1992 a Basic Law was promulgated, which establishes Islam as the religion of the State in Article 1. Sources of law are the Sharia, particularly Hanbali jurisprudence, state regulations, custom and practise.   Islamic law, in accordance with the Hanbali school, is applied in several areas, including criminal and personal status law, whereas areas such as commerce, tax and oil are governed instead by royal decrees and codes.  Article 48 of the Basic Law directs the courts to apply the rules of Islamic Sharia and any codes decreed by the ruler of Saudi Arabia that do not contradict the Quran or sunna.

The majority of the population are Sunni Muslims who follow the Hanbali School of Islamic jurisprudence.  There is a minority of Shia Jaafari Muslims and a significant expatriate community.

Available Information

reunite´s Summary Text for Saudi Arabia 
Legal Texts

•    Basic Law 1992


•    International Parental Child Abduction Circular, US State Department

•    Convention on the Rights of the Child Report

•    Family Law Summary (Emory Project)

•    Information on the Judiciary (POGAR)

•    Information on the Judiciary (Infoprod)

•    Summary of Judicial Structures, Nathan J. Brown