Council to resolve family disputes proposed

The Ministry of Justice has proposed setting up a special council to resolve family disputes, including cases involving divorce, drug abuse and other social problems.

The council would oversee dispute resolution across all government departments, the ministry said in its annual report submitted recently to the Shoura Council.

The ministry has sent its proposal to the Royal Court for approval.

The ministry also wants to employ 350 women at the council to deal with issues affecting women.

The ministry said in its report that it had studied family councils in neighboring countries. It discovered that these councils played a significant role in reducing divorces and resolving a range of other family disputes including drug abuse cases.

The ministry also found that these councils reduced the backlog of family cases at the courts of these countries.

A source said the ministry’s main objective is to establish a nationwide benchmark for dealing with family related issues and negative social phenomena that threaten the fabric of Saudi society.

The ministry said that its mandate is limited to judicial matters, but it has a long-term strategy to set up special programs for divorced women, widows, persons with special needs, the elderly, children and victims of family disputes.

The ministry has already established a social services department to smooth the decision-making process. Several academics have been appointed to work in the department.

“The minister of justice has issued a directive for the establishment of social services offices at the Kingdom’s courts. These offices will study family and social problems and provide judges advice on family legal cases,” said the source.

The source said the ministry considers women employees crucial to the success of the program.

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