(MENAFN - Arab News) Members of law firms and law circles denounced rumors that say female advocates should only represent women in court.
They said this would be a violation of their rights and total waste of their skills and asked the Justice Ministry to clarify its position in the legal field in view of the Royal Decree issued a year ago to give them the right to practice law. Yet to date, no female lawyer has entered the courtroom.
Yaseen Khalid Khayyat, president of Jeddah Lawyer's Association, said: "We hope the rumor is not true, otherwise it would be a waste of women's capabilities and education."
He said such actions are unheard of in practices all over the world. "Why should women lawyers be prevented from practicing in any field of law as they are committed to the Islamic principles our country follows and are considerate of the traditions and norms of our Islamic society?" asked Khayyat.
One of the first graduates of law school, Bayan Zahran, now a legal counselor at a law firm, demanded that the Ministry of Justice clarify its position regarding their work, adding: "If true, the ministry's statements would be unfair and contradictory to the Royal Decree."
"We should not end up working as saleswomen after having studied law," said Zahran.
She added that she went with a fellow graduate to the Ministry of Justice to apply for a license to practice law, but officials in the ministry refused to give them even the application form.
Dismissing rumors or even the idea that female lawyers should represent only women in courts, Nora Al-Jada'ni, another law graduate, said: "This is degrading to our capabilities." She added that the matter is intended to alienate women lawyers and deny them their lawful rights. "It is an attempt to waive the Royal Decree that gave us the right to practice law in the first place," she argued.
Fahd Al-Bakran, spokesman of the Ministry of Justice, said that all requirements for women lawyers are currently being worked out by a special registration committee, which will decide elements of the issue. "There is no bias against women lawyers, only some delay until all preparations are done," he concluded.