Women lawyers welcome new legal system taking effect next week
JEDDAH — A number of Saudi female lawyers have said the new system introduced by the Justice Ministry to notify married women through SMS in case of divorce will put an end to a situation where the women are the last ones to know about their latest marital status.
Lawyer Somayya Al-Hindi told Okaz/Saudi Gazette that Saudi courts in the past heard many cases of Saudi women who continued to live with their ex-husbands not knowing that they had been divorced.
“Saudi men in the past obtained divorce deeds from courts without the knowledge of their wives and without informing them of their new marital status,” Al-Hindi said.
The new initiative will notify the women immediately by SMS to their phone numbers registered through the Absher system when a divorce deed is issued by a court, she added.
The text message will inform the divorcee of the number of the divorce document and the court that issued it.
“This will put an end to any attempts at cheating or impersonating the identity of women to take control of their bank accounts and property using previously issued powers of attorney,” Al-Hindi said.
Lawyer Nasreen Al-Ghamdi said Saudi courts received many complaints about impersonating the identity of divorced women or using powers of attorney they had signed prior to divorce without their knowledge and approval.
“The new system, which will come into force next week, will plug every loophole that allowed ex-husbands or male relatives to have a upper hand in matters of inheritance and the management of the family estate. This is a huge step forward and will facilitate many of the services provided to divorced women. This new system will authorize a court employee to confirm the identity of the woman through Absher, her national ID and her date of birth. And women will have the ability to confirm their marital status electronically through the Justice Ministry’s Najez portal and review the details of their divorce deed.”
Other lawyers said several reforms introduced by the Ministry of Justice lately contributed greatly to ensure justice to women and protect their rights. The ministry and the Supreme Judicial Council worked together to resolve many issues facing women and to protect their rights through the judicial system.