Ministry of justice on Saturday lauded digital transformation as a “vital catalyst for positive societal change” in Saudi Arabia. It also cited several major projects within the legal sector that have streamlined procedures and reduced the use of paper.
Arab Digital Capital
The official statement comes just months after naming Riyadh the Arab Digital Capital. Saudi Arabia showed a leadership in leveraging digital technologies to promote economic growth. Besides, enhancing social services such as healthcare and education.
Saudi Arabia’s ICT sector is credited with a 4% contribution to GDP. So, MoJ ensured that the adoption of technology within the legal system has brought about dramatic enhancements to workflow. Besides, document management as well as delivering new transparency and cutting public costs.
Digitizing MOJ’s services
More than 71% of the ministry’s services have now been digitized. This includes its notarization division, which can now resolve power-of-attorney requests within minutes.
Audio-visual recordings of court hearings and digital certification of hearing minutes. Besides, the online availability of hearing details and rulings, have all contributed to renewed transparency and public confidence.
Meanwhile, new state-of-the-art digital arbitration services for commercial entities, along with digital updates for title deeds, have resulted in streamlined business operations across the private sector.
This has led to a spike in engagement from investors, both inside and outside the country.
The World Bank referred to “a record number of business reforms” in Saudi Arabia in 2019. This was a key factor in its Doing Business 2020 report ranking the kingdom the top 10 improvers in global business climate.
The WEF placed Saudi Arabia in 36th place in its Global Competitiveness Index, out of more than 140 countries. The country was ranked fourth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) by WEF.
Additionally, the Ministry of Justice has dramatically cut the administrative costs of fine and penalty collections. This is through its digitization of verification and payment for the nation’s enforcement courts.
The ministry has long seen digital transformation as an ideal means to not only promote economic growth, but also to protect the country’s wildlife and environment.
Apart from working with other ministries to pass a series of ecologically friendly regulations for citizens and corporations, it has worked tirelessly to limit its own environmental impact, instituting the so-called Paperless Courts program in 2017.
The Personal Status courts, running the project, aims to enable all branches of the Saudi legal system. This is to handle every application electronically, accelerate processes, guarantee rights, shorten procedures for beneficiaries, and slash costs.
“Digital transformation is a vital catalyst when pursuing sweeping and positive societal change,” the Ministry of Justice said in a statement.
“By reducing paper in our legal procedures, we cut public costs, not only in terms of administration, but in terms of environmental impact.
By streamlining processes across our commercial courts, we ensure a more positive business environment. This would cement the kingdom as a regional and world leader in economic, social, cultural and commercial progress.”