Exchange of views with Mohammed Al ISA, Saudi Minister of Justice, on reforms of the judicial system in Saudi Arabia:

Type: News   Reference: 93357   Duration: 00:04:37  Lieu: Brussels, Belgium - European Parliament
End production: 22/04/2013   First transmission: 22/04/2013
- extracts EP Committee on Foreign Affairs In association with the Delegation for relations with the Arab Peninsula Background: MEPs of the Committee on Foreign Affaris (AFET) held an exchange of views with Mohammed AL-ISSA, Saudi Minister of Justice on the reforms of the judicial system in Saudi Arabia. AL-ISA was appointed to this charge by the King Abdullah which is making a considerable effort in accelerating the pace of modernisation bringing new moderate voices to the government and greater transparency and representation in the country, since he ascended the throne in 2005. AL-ISA, as new Minister of Justice, aims to fostering greater transparency, expediting litigation, and establishing stronger protections over commercial and intellectual property.

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TIME DESCRIPTION DURATION
00:00:00 Title 00:00:05
00:00:05 Exterior shot of the European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium, (1 shot) 00:00:05
00:00:10 Introduction shots before the opening of the exchange of views, (5 shots) 00:00:23
00:00:33 SOUNDBITE (English): Mohammed Al ISA, Saudi Minister of Justice: "In its general principles, our judicial philosophy is not in contradiction with that which is in force in other countries, whether we are talking about civil, commercial or criminal proceedings. In Saudi Arabia, what is of the greatest importance to us is not to contradict the constitutional text, which is inspired from Islamic canonical law, the Sharia, and this covers the entire range of judicial dispositions. " 00:00:52
00:01:25 SOUNDBITE (English): Mohammed Al ISA, Saudi Minister of Justice: "The judge has full discretion to interpret. He may draw his judgement from jurisprudence or he may draw it from his own interpretation. We have what we are calling a jurisprudential system. " 00:00:22
00:01:47 SOUNDBITE (English): Mohammed Al ISA, Saudi Minister of Justice: "We have foreseen a system to support these NGOs and this system will be run by a National Body for Transparency and Integrity. This body will be a source of support for organisations and NGOs, both local and international who are active in our country." 00:00:22
00:02:09 SOUNDBITE (English): Barbara LOCHBIHLER, (Verts/ALE, DE), Chair of the Human Rights subcommittee: "Saudi Arabia is the only major Islamic country that has failed so far to ratify the two key legally binding Universal Human Rights governance on economic, social and cultural rights and on civil and political rights. In this context will you elaborate, if there are debates inside your government to develop a roadmap to come to ratification?" 00:00:29
00:02:38 SOUNDBITE (English): Barbara LOCHBIHLER, (Verts/ALE, DE), Chair of the Human Rights subcommittee: "The EU position is very clear to abolish the death penalty and in Saudi Arabia you have a wide variety of crimes to apply the death penalty, like drug offences, apostasy, sorcery and witchcraft and in recent years we have witnessed an increase in executions. The EU policy calls for a moratorium as the first step to the abolition of the death penalty and Saudi Arabia has accepted in the recommendations to the UN universal periodic review to consider limiting the scope and the application of the death penalty." 00:00:40
00:03:18 SOUNDBITE (English): Mohammed Al ISA, Saudi Minister of Justice: "Saudi Arabia is not the only country that still applies the death penalty. There continue to be 100 countries that maintain the death penalty and there are points of view that are very different, but it is, nevertheless, up to us when we apply criteria of reason and logic to this." 00:00:30
00:03:48 SOUNDBITE (English): Mohammed Al ISA, Saudi Minister of Justice: "As there is no unanimity internationally around the issue of the death penalty that this question remains legitimate and the question I asked myself is that these people who have been given the death penalty in previous centuries in Europe who carry the responsibility for that, the European philosophers or theoreticians? I think we cannot answer that question without taking into awareness the context of what was happening in other places in the world." 00:00:38
00:04:26 cut away shots, (4 shots) 00:00:11
00:04:37 END 00:00:00
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