Shari'ah courts based on Islamic law administer justice, with the Central Magistrate Court at Muscat. There are four additional magistrate courts in Sohar, Sur, Salalah, and Nizwa. Qadis, or religious judges, appointed by the sultan, function within each wilayat. Appeals from the Central Magistrate Court are made to the sultan, who exercises powers of clemency. The Shari'ah courts, adhering to Islamic law, equate the testimony of one man with that of two women. There is also a security court, rarely used, which handles internal security cases. A commercial dispute may be resolved at the Authority for Settlement of Commercial Disputes.
In 1996, a basic law providing for citizens' basic rights was promulgated by the sultan. The basic law affirms the independence of the judiciary. There are no jury trials.