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Date of Award


Author's School

School of Law

Degree Name

Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD)

Degree Type



The focus of this dissertation is the promotion of mediation as an essential judicial alternative for determining outcomes of civil and commercial contract disputes that are decided by the participants rather than a judge in court litigation, or an arbitrator in arbitration proceedings. In furthering the future of mediation, the paper traces historic and Islamic history and precedents of mediation, its limited current role, as well as the roots of both litigation and arbitration and their contemporary use in Saudi jurisprudence. The modernity of the judiciary is, at the same time, confronting the concomitant controversies over the dominating role of judges, the growing use of arbitration as a popular alternative to litigation culminating in the acclaimed Arbitration Law of 2012, as well as the use of mediation for more than family disputes, all impacting justice for Saudi society and a global economy. Critical analyses and debates continue, a good sign that judicial thinking is taking place, as Saudi legal processes come to terms with modern day realities in all areas of the kingdom: personal, family, civil and commercial dealings. This dissertation addresses judicial issues, real world legal shortcomings, and analyzes the implications of Islamic and secular idiosyncrasies as Saudi Arabia confronts and indeed welcomes the world of the Twenty-First Century. In so doing, the Kingdom must recognize that the pragmatism of the ancient world and the wisdom of those prescient patriarchs have stimulated and guided the next generation of legal experts who value the eclectic history of the past to translate into vibrant and inclusive justice for today’s Arabian people.

Chair and Committee

Karen Tokarz Michael Geigerman James Reeves

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