The Member State judicial systems are very diverse, reflecting differences in national judicial traditions.

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Judicial Systems In Member States – Kuwait

This section provides you with an overview of the national judiciary system and court system in Kuwait.

Organisation of justice – judicial systems

Judicial System in the State of Kuwait:

The current Kuwaiti constitution included many provisions that legalizes the work of courts in the State of Kuwait. Courts in Kuwait were divided into two parts, namely the ordinary courts and the special courts as per Article No. 162 of the Kuwaiti constitution, which stipulates that “The honor of the Judiciary and the integrity and impartiality of judges are the bases of rule and a guarantee of rights and liberties.” The Kuwaiti constitution also stipulates in Article 163 that “Law guarantees the independence of the Judiciary” as well as judges, and that Law guarantees that “judges are not subject to any authority”, except in cases of witnessed crimes. In this report, the most important characteristic of the courts and the judiciary in Kuwait and their types are detailed below:

Ordinary Courts in Kuwait:

It is one of the types of courts that exist in the Kuwaiti society and that specializes and deals with cases of daily life, for example cases related to commercial projects and civil cases inside the State of Kuwait, and it also specializes in dealing with criminal cases and rendering peremptory rulings thereat, in addition to cases that deal with personal status issues and administrative cases.

Divisions of Ordinary Courts in the State of Kuwait:

The ordinary courts in the State of Kuwait are divided into three degrees: the courts of first instance, in addition to the summary courts, which are those courts that specialize in handling simple cases, and consist of only one judge, as for the third type of ordinary courts in the State of Kuwait, they are the plenary courts, and those that are concerned with the rest of the cases. Usually, these courts consist of three judges, with the possibility of having one judge.

High Court of Appeal in the State of Kuwait:

It is the one that considers the appeals submitted against the judgments rendered by the courts of first instance inside the State of Kuwait. This court usually consists of several panels and each panel consists of three legal advisors.

Court of Cassation in the State of Kuwait:

This type of courts in the State of Kuwait consists of several panels, and each panel includes five legal advisors. This court is deemed the highest court in the ordinary judiciary and hears the appeals filed before the Court of Appeal.

Special Courts in the State of Kuwait:

As for the special courts in the State of Kuwait, they consist of
the following:
The Special Court Judging the Liability of Ministers in the State of Kuwait:

This court considers the cases brought against ministers inside the State of Kuwait, and it legalizes the work of this court inside the State of Kuwait. Article 132 of the Kuwaiti Constitution states
the following:
“A special law defines the offences which may be committed by Ministers in the performance of their duties, and specifies the procedure for their indictment and trial and the competent authority for the said trial, without affecting the application of other laws to their ordinary acts or offences and to the civil liability arising therefrom.”

Constitutional Court in the State of Kuwait:

Constitutional Court is concerned with observing the constitutionality of laws, such as the constitutionality of decisions to dissolve parliament, for instance.

Military Courts in Kuwait:

Military Courts are those that are competent to try members of the armed and security forces inside the State of Kuwait, and its mission is defined by one of the articles of the Kuwaiti constitution specifically Article 164, which states: “Law regulates the Courts of various kinds and degrees and specifies their functions and jurisdiction. Except when Martial Law is in force, Military Courts have jurisdiction only over military offences committed by members of the armed and security forces within the limits specified by law.”

Martial Courts in Kuwait:

These courts may be established when martial law is established in order to consider the crimes that so require. These courts usually consist of a number of judges and military officers, and their rulings are unappealable. It is worth noting that judgments rendered by the martial court do become final and enforceable only after having the same approved by the authority responsible for martial law matters. These courts’ validity ends with the expiration of martial law within the state.

Legal Database

The website of the Legal Information Network of Gulf-Kuwait contains information about the judiciary, the Ministry of Justice, the respective competences of and contact details for various offices.

Last Updated November 12, 2023