On 1/1/1439 H. (21/9/2017 G.), the Saudi Arabian Supreme Judiciary Council has issued circular number T/967 (the "Circular") announcing that, as of the date of the Circular, the commercial circuits under the Board of Grievances will be moved under the general court system.
Pursuant to the Circular:
- First-instance judgments concerning claims for a principal value lesser than SAR 20,000 would be considered final and non-appealable, as a general rule.
- Commercial disputes concerning the Companies Law or the Commercial Agencies Law (irrespective of the claim value), as well as those concerning claims for a principal value greater than SAR 300,000 shall be heard by a circuit composed of three judges.
- Commercial disputes concerning claims for a principal value lesser than SAR 300,000 shall be heard by a circuit composed of a single judge.
The competences of the Commercial Courts are specified in Article 35 of the Sharia Proceedings Law (enacted pursuant to Royal Decree No. M/1 dated 22/1/1435 H. (25/11/2013 G.)) and include:
- Primary and ancillary commercial disputes between merchants;
- Claims made against merchants as a result of their primary or ancillary commercial activities;
- Disputes between shareholders in companies;
- Disputes related to commercial laws, without prejudice to the jurisdiction of the Board of Grievances;
- Bankruptcy claims and receivership orders; and
- Other commercial disputes.
As an exception to the above, cases relating to the breach of any commercial law shall continue to be heard by the Penal Courts or the relevant committees, until the formulation of a process for their transfer to the Commercial Courts.
Cases currently adjudicated before the General Courts may not be transferred to the Commercial Courts.
Finally, filings to the Commercial Courts shall be made online.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.