World Intellectual Property Organization

Saudi Arabia

Basic System


Saudi Arabia

Year of current version:1992
Date of entry into force of original text:March 5, 1992
Date of Text (Adopted):February 4, 1992
Type of Text:Constitution / Basic Law
Subject Matter:Other
Adopted by the Royal Order No. (A/90) dated 27/08/1412H, the Basic System is the most important constitutional document in Saudi Arabia. It states that the Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad are the constitution of the country and stresses in Article 7 that Islamic Religious Law “Sharia” is the foundation of the Kingdom. The Qur'an and the Sunnah are the sources of the authority of the government and they govern all administrative regulations of the State.
The Basic System confirms the monarchical system and defines the judicial authority, the executive authority and the legislative authority although there is no separation between authorities, in particular between the legislative and the executive.
The executive authority consists of the King, the Council of Ministers, local governments, ministry subsidiaries, and other public agencies.
The legislative authority is shared by the King, the Council of Ministers, and the Consultative Council (Majlis al-Shura).The legislative authority is referred to in the Basic System as the 'regulatory authority” which is empowered to enact laws and regulations.
The Judicial system is composed of a Supreme Judicial Council, Courts of Appeals, and First-Instance Courts. There is also an administrative judicial body known as the Board of Grievances affiliated to the King. The Saudi legal system has several administrative committees that adjudicate civil, commercial, administrative and criminal cases.
Although the Basic System does not refer to Intellectual Property Rights explicitly, it ensures the protection of all forms of property (Article 17), and ensures the protection of cultural heritage (Article 29).
Available Texts: 

النظام الأساسي النظام الأساسي      , Complete document (pdf) [94 KB]


Basic System Basic System, Complete document (pdf) [83 KB] Basic System, Complete document (htm) [32 KB] (Version with Automatic Translation Tool)

WIPO Lex No.:SA016

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