Delictual liability of the state under Saudi law.
PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.
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There is an increasing recognition within the international system, of the need to understand Islamic law and legal system. This is due to the realisation that it either underpins or at least influences to some degree not only the legal but also the socio-cultural outlook of about a quarter of the world’s population. In line with this reality, this study investigates delictual liability of the state under Saudi law. It evaluates what is the position of the Saudi courts in determining the liability of public authorities for delict and the extent to which the applications of the current principles of delictual liability are useful and sufficient for effectively tackling the growing number of cases that are confronting the public bodies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
A focal point of this study is the focus on a system of law which claims universal applicability, even more, a law for all times. For Muslims, the Shar’iah is a code that covers all aspects of life and is applicable to all situations. It governs individual and social relations and as such is claimed to be applied, to various degrees, all across the Muslim world and beyond even where Muslims live as minorities. However, a persistent concern, with advocates and sceptics of the system, remains the viability of a legal system steeped in a specific historical and even contextual setting, in societies and climes across the world. This study has sought to engage an aspect of that issue; namely the applicability of Shar’iah principles to state liability for delictual conduct through an interrogation of the experience in Saudi Arabia, commonly perceived to be a conservative Islamic society. The exploration in this study hopefully provides a useful insight on the veracity or otherwise of the adaptability of Islamic law to all aspects of life and in the contemporary period. The position argued in this study is that Shari’ah does contain mechanisms that make its application viable even in complex areas of law like the delictual liability of the state.
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