Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Justice is expected to issue a law allowing female lawyers to argue in court. Currently female lawyers may advise clients but not appear in court.
Saudi Arabia's shura council is considering allowing female lawyers to argue in court for the first time. According to Emirates 247 some members of the cabinet favor allowing women to practice the law in full, whilst others wish to limit them to issues of domestic and family law such as marriage, divorce, custody, domestic violence and alimony.
According to The Lawyer female lawyers in the Kingdom are currently only allowed to enter a courtroom in the presence of a male guardian. However, any concessions won by female lawyers will still be subject to the law which strictly enforces gender segregation.
Although allowed to study law at universities in Saudi Arabia, female law graduates are restricted in the public sector. Al Arabiya reported earlier this year that Saudi Internal Affairs are willing to hire female lawyers but must wait until a royal decree is passed.
Since the death of Saudi Crown Prince Naif in June some matters relating to women's rights appear to be moving in a positive direction. Naif held deeply conservative values and was less of a reformist than King Abdullah.
Saudi Princess Ameerah al-Taweel, wife of Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, spoke in New York this week about the progress of women's rights, which she vocally supports, in Saudi Arabia. CNN reported the princess said that the hard-line conservatives that oppose women's rights have an amazing lobby within the kingdom. She said "They know how to voice out their opinions. Us women, not yet. Yes, we are very educated. We know exactly what we want, but we're not organized.”