Key Challenges facing Online Dispute Resolution in Saudi Arabia

Mohammad Alharbi


Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) has emerged as a particularly effective means to resolve various forms of commercial disputes.  This dispute resolution mechanism now employs an array of technologies to resolve both domestic and international commercial disputes.  Courts in some jurisdictions have piloted successful ODR programs, although others are still struggling to find balance between traditional litigation tools and ODR.The advancement in technology has most significantly changed traditional arbitral procedures and practices.  With the panoply of ODR options, cyberspace is a new venue for arbitration in the international arena.  Successful examples of ODR demonstrate arbitration that is conducted fully through electronic means from the onset to the conclusion.  This paper examines the case of Saudi Arabia, where there have been attempts to provide a regulatory framework for online dispute resolution.  These strides are still minimal, given the challenges of ODR as applied in the present Saudi Arabian legal structure.Saudi Arabia presents unique challenges.  The country’s legal system is premised on Shari’a law, which significantly defines the culture and the rules for Saudi Arabian people.  Integrating an online dispute resolution system into the Shari’a legal construct could create a business environment for both Saudis and foreigners to facilitate smooth commercial transactions and to address related disputes when they arise.  Finding a way to align ODR with Shari’a law, however, is the task.  Obstacles include: the lack of legal certainty and government regulations that could provide guidance in the area of ODR; the lack of  legitimacy; and the lack of awareness concerning the use of online systems.  This paper will examine these Challenges and, in particular, focus on the existing Saudi Arabian legal framework for dispute resolution in relation to Shari’a law and theorize how ODR might be incorporated in future commercial arbitrations.

Keywords: Sharia Law, Arbitration, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Online Dispute Resolution, Public Policy.

DOI: 10.7176/JLPG/88-11

Publication date: August 31st 2019

Full Text: PDF
Download the IISTE publication guideline!

To list your conference here. Please contact the administrator of this platform.

Paper submission email:

ISSN (Paper)2224-3240 ISSN (Online)2224-3259

Please add our address "" into your email contact list.

This journal follows ISO 9001 management standard and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Copyright ©