Implementing Regulations Before the New Board of Grievances in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Other Author Huwayda Mohammed H Abuthiyab, Associate, Al Akeel & Partner
Overview of The Regulation and its Implementing Regulations
The regime was issued before the Board of Grievances (“the Regime”) by Royal Decree No. (M/15) dated 01/27/1443AH corresponding to 09/04/2021AD. This regime aims to consider disputes that involves governmental authority and the execution of judgements against such authorities.
The Regime was issued pending the implementing regulations which were issued before the Board of Grievances (the “Regulations”) by Administrative Judicial Council Resolution No. (2/1445/Tenth) dated 02/13/1445AH, corresponding to 08/29/2023AD, and came into force on 02/23/1445AH, corresponding to 08/09/2023AD. Pursuant to such Regulations, the power to execute the administrative rulings were transferred from the emirates of the provinces to the administrative courts of the Board of Grievances.
This led to the strong enforcement of the Regime avoiding the causes and obstacles that lead to delays in or refrains from executing the judicial rulings against the administrative authorities, and providing guarantees for the execution of these rulings through the presence of judicial supervision on the execution procedures.
As it is known, during the period of validity of the prior regime, it was not possible to execute judicial rulings against administrative authorities, and any person seeking execution had to deal with an extremely burdensome administrative procedures which ultimately led, in most cases, to failure to enforce such rulings unless the administrative authority decides to voluntarily comply.
Board of Grievances
Board of Grievances is an independent administrative judicial body, directly linked to the King of Saudi Arabia. It consists of a president with the rank of minister, one or more vice president, and a group of judges. The vice president of the board is appointed by a royal decree.
The Board of Grievances deals with contracts in which one of the contracting parties is an administrative or governmental authority, and in which the Administrative Court have jurisdiction to rule on such contracts.
The Regime aims to do two main things: protecting the public fund as it is considered a government administrative body entrusted with operating and collecting the public fund, and explaining how the contracting party with the administrative authority can collect its rights in the event of a legal dispute with the administrative authority.
Features of the Regime and the Regulations
The Regime lists the executive instruments covered by its provisions, which include the following:
- Final or urgent (summary) judgements issued by the Courts of the Board of Grievances.
- Final or urgent (summary) judgements to which the administrative authority is a party.
- Contracts to which the administrative authority is a party, and the documents issued are notarized.
- Arbitration awards to which the administrative authority is a party.
- Commercial instruments to which the administrative authority is a party.
Execution for the Benefit of the Administrative Authorities
Pursuant to the Regime, the Enforcement Department, immediately upon referring the request to it, shall issue an enforcement order to the person against whom the rulings was issued in favor of the administrative authority seeking compliance of such ruling within a period not exceeding thirty days. In the event that such person does not comply with the order of the Enforcement Department, except for such rulings that involve monetary recovery, the Department shall have the right to impose a monetary fine that does not exceed ten thousand Saudi Riyals for every day that passes without compliance with the enforcement order.
Execution against the Administrative Authorities
On the other hand, the Enforcement Department, immediately upon referring the request of enforcement to it, shall issue a notice to the relevant administrative authority seeking its voluntary compliance with the ruling issued against it within a period not exceeding five days in urgent judgments and thirty days otherwise from the date of notification of the warning (unless the Enforcement Department deems it necessary to specify a shorter period). The notice shall include information about the enforcement instrument required to be enforced and a copy thereof. The Enforcement Department may also notify the competent supervisory authority to consider initiating disciplinary measures, if necessary, against the relevant administrative authority by investigating the reasons for the non-compliance with these judgments.
It should be noted that in the event that the administrative authority fails to comply with enforcement orders, the person seeking enforcement may resort to the competent supervisory authority, which is the Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority “Nazaha” and seek compliance.
One of the main features of the Regime is that it granted final judgments that were issued more than five years priority over other judgements with respect to enforcement. This means that older judgements will have priority over new judgements with respect to the enforcement.