Saudi Arabia

    Saudi Arabia is planning to bring in a new law to allow women lawyers to argue cases in court for the first time. Justice Minister Mohammed al-Eissa said the law was part of King Abdullah’s plan to develop the legal system. The law - to be issued “in the coming days” - would allow women to appear in court on family-related cases, including divorce and child custody. At the moment, they can only work behind the scenes in government and court offices. The new legislation will also allow Saudi women to complete certain procedures without the presence of a witness. “In accordance with the new law, women will be able to complete their preliminary procedures with notaries by just presenting their IDs,” said Ministry of Justice official Osama al-Mirdas, according to Arab News. Under a system of male guardianship, Saudi Arabian women are required to be kept separate from men they are not related to. (BBC)

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