Human Rights Commission Regulation
Council of Ministers Resolution No. 207
Dated 8 Sha’ban 1426H / 12 September 2005
There shall be established, in accordance with this Law, a commission named the “Human Rights Commission” which reports directly to the President of the Council of Ministers. It aims to protect and enhance human rights according to international standards for human rights in all aspects, and to promote public awareness thereof and participate in ensuring implementation of the same in light of the provisions of Shari’ah. The Commission shall be the government authority in charge of providing opinion and counsel in matters relating to human rights.
The Commission shall enjoy a corporate personality with full authority to perform its tasks provided for in this Law. Its head office shall be in the city of Riyadh, and it may open branches and establish offices in other provinces in the Kingdom.
The Commission shall have a chairman appointed pursuant to a Royal Order at the grade of a minister, as well as a vice-chairman, to be appointed by a Royal Order at an excellent grade.
The Commission shall have a board to be named (the Commission’s Board). It shall be formed as follows:
(a) Chairman of the Commission: Chairman
(b) Vice-chairman of the Commission: Vice-chairman
(c) A minimum of eighteen members appointed for a period of four renewable years pursuant to an order by the President of the Council of Ministers. They shall be highly qualified in Shari’ah, law, political sciences or education, and renowned for their integrity, competency and expertise in the field of human rights. They shall work on full-time basis in the Commission during the period of their membership.
(d) A minimum of six part-time members appointed for a period of four renewable years pursuant to an order by the President of the Council of Ministers. They shall be known for their interest in human rights. These members shall be entitled to attend meetings without the right to vote.
The Commission’s Board shall have the ultimate authority over the Commission’s affairs. It shall take all necessary means to achieve its purposes within the limits of this Law, especially the following:
(1) Ascertain the implementation of existing rules and regulations related to human rights by the concerned government authorities, uncover any infringements of laws applicable in the Kingdom that constitute a violation of human rights, and take necessary legal measures in this respect.
(2) Provide opinions on draft laws pertaining to human rights, review existing laws and propose amendments thereto in accordance with legal procedures.
(3) Monitor government agencies’ implementation of international human rights instruments to which the Kingdom is a party, and ensure that such agencies take all necessary measures for their implementation.
(4) Provide opinions on international instruments pertaining to human rights with regard to the Kingdom’s accession to them, or to provisions stipulated therein.
(5) Approve the Kingdom’s reports on human rights. The Chairman of the Commission shall bring necessary reports before the President of the Council of Ministers.
(6) Visit prisons and detention centers at any time without permission from the competent authority, and bring reports on them before the President of the Council of Ministers.
(7) Receive and verify complaints related to human rights and take the legal measures pertaining to them.
(8) Devise a public policy for promoting awareness of human rights, and propose methods to promote human rights culture through institutions and agencies in charge of education, training, media, etc.
(9) Approve the publication of circulars, magazines and other printed materials related to the Commission’s objectives and powers.
(10) Approve the Commission’s annual report, and the annual report on the status of human rights in the Kingdom and bring them before the President of the Council of Ministers.
(11) Approve the draft budget of the Commission and its closing account, and bring them before the President of the Council of Ministers in accordance with legal procedures.
(12) Cooperate with national, regional and international societies, organizations and institutions working in the field of human rights to achieve the commission’s objectives and improve its relations.
(13) Approve the organizing of national and international conferences and seminars on human rights issues, and participate in them in accordance with relevant legal procedures.
(14) Approve the filing and rebuttal of lawsuits in issues pertaining to human rights.
(15) Approve administrative and financial regulations and the rights and privileges of Commission’s Board members and collaborators, in agreement with the Ministry of Civil Service and the Ministry of Finance.
(16) Assign all or some of the Commission’s Board members - appointed according to paragraph (c), Article (4) of this Law - to supervise the different departments of the Commission.
(17) Establish other departments in agreement with the Ministry of Civil Service and the Ministry of Finance.
(18) Form permanent or ad hoc committees, from members or others, to perform specific tasks falling within the powers of the Board.
The Commission’s Board may invite representatives of ministries, other government agencies and private institutions when considering an issue pertaining to those parties.
The Commission’s Board shall convene at least once a month, or whenever the need arises, following an invitation from the Chairman or the Vice-chairman or upon the request of one third of its members. The meeting shall not be considered valid unless attended by a majority of the Board members, including the Chairman or the Vice-chairman.
The Commission’s Board shall issue its decisions and recommendations by a majority vote of the attending voting members. In case of a tie, the Chairman’s side shall prevail.
The Chairman shall manage, represent and run the Commission according to its powers and duties and supervise the progress of its work. To that effect, he may do the following:
(1) Supervise the preparation of administrative and financial regulations adopted by the Commission in preparation to submitting them to the Commission’s Board.
(2) Approve financial procedures in accordance with the relevant applicable laws and regulations.
(3) Supervise the flow of work in the Commission through adopted regulations.
(4) Supervise the preparation of the Commission’s annual report and the annual report on the status of human rights in the Kingdom in preparation to refer them to the Commission’s Board.
(5) Supervise the preparation of the Commission's annual budget and the closing accounts pending their referral to the Commission’s Board.
(6) Represent the Commission at government agencies, and other agencies and institutions in the Kingdom and abroad.
(7) Bring the Kingdom's reports on human rights before the President of the Council of Ministers upon their approval by the Commission’s Board in accordance with paragraph (5) of Article (5) of this Law.
The Commission’s Vice-chairman shall assist the Chairman when present and assumes his responsibilities in his absence.
The Commission shall consist of the following departments:
(a) Department of Legal Affairs, Studies and Research:
It shall provide comparative Shari’ah and legal counsel with regard to human rights issues and matters referred to it by the Commission’s Board or its Chairman, as well as contribute in drafting the Kingdom’s periodic reports required as result of its accession to international human rights instruments and prepare rebuttals to lawsuits related to human rights issues or initiate them.
(b) Department of International Relations and Organizations
It shall coordinate with international organizations concerned with human rights issues, whether governmental or non-governmental, and other relevant institutions, and follow up cases of Saudis whose rights are violated abroad.
(c) Department of Complaints:
It shall receive complaints from individuals, institutions, organizations and others with regard to human rights issues, and verify them in preparation for their referral to the relevant department at the Commission.
(d) Department of Follow-up and Investigation:
It shall follow up any complaint until it is resolved and visit prisons and detention centers – at the discretion of the Commission’s Board in this regard and with no permission from the competent authority - and investigate human rights violations, and report results to the Commission’s Board.
(e) Department of Public Relations:
It shall coordinate among the relevant departments within the Commission, attend to requests referred to it by the Commission’s Board or its Chairman in this respect, follow media coverage of human rights and assist in the organization of relevant conferences and symposia.
(f) Department of Financial and Administrative Affairs:
It shall follow-up the Commission’s personnel affairs, budget, properties and whatever is required for the running of its business.
A center for publication, information, documentation and translation in the human rights field shall be established. It shall be managed by a full-time Board member, nominated by the Chairman of the Commission. This Center shall aim at spreading the basic principles and concepts of human rights which are consistent with the provisions of Shari'ah and establishing its culture and cooperating with international organizations, government and non-government institutions involved in enhancing human rights. The Center, in particular, shall have the following tasks:
(1) Supervising the organization of human rights conferences, and symposia held in the Kingdom.
(2) Promoting the culture of human rights including conducting comparative studies on Shari’ah and international human rights instruments, educating citizens, and seeking the assistance of competent institutions and agencies in education, information and culture.
(3) Preparing circulars, magazines and publications related to the Commission’s objectives and powers.
(4) Preparing the Commission’s annual report for referral to the Commission’s Board.
(5) Organizing special courses in the Kingdom to promote awareness in the field of human rights for employees of human rights agencies and other interested parties.
(6) Documenting whatever is related to human rights and translating it from and into the Arabic language.
Human rights departments in relevant Ministries or government agencies shall act as liaison officers for the Commission.
The Commission may seek the assistance, as needed, of an adequate number of experts, specialists and qualified personnel to perform its duties as provided for in this Regulation.
Employees of the Commission shall be subject to the Civil Service Law and its Regulations, as well as the Civil Pension Law. Workers in the Commission shall be subject to the Labor Law and the Social Insurance Law.
All government agencies shall provide the Commission, upon its request, with any data or information related to its work in order to enable it to carry out the tasks assigned to it.
(1) The Commission shall have a separate budget prepared and issued in accordance with the procedures of the state general budget. The Commission’s funds shall be comprised of the following:
(a) The Commission’s allocations in the state budget.
(b) Income generated from activities within the Commission’s powers.
(c) Donations, aids, grants and wills accepted by the Commission in accordance with the rules set by the Commission’s Board.
(d) Other resources that the Commission’s Board decides to add to the Commission’s funds.
(2) The Commission’s fiscal year shall start with the state’s fiscal year and end with it. In exception to this, the Commission’s first fiscal year shall start from the date this Regulation comes into effect.
The Commission shall bring its closing account before the President of the Council of Ministers within three months at the latest from the end of the fiscal year. The Commission shall provide a copy of its closing account and copy of its annual report to the General Audit Bureau.
This Regulation shall be published in the Official Gazette and shall come into effect sixty days from the date of its publication.