The legal system is based on the Shari'ah (canonical Muslim law). The Basic Law of 1970, however, provided for the creation of an independent judiciary, including the court of appeal, which has final jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters; the higher criminal court, which judges major criminal cases; the lower criminal court; the civil court; and the labor court, which judges claims involving employees and their employers. The Shari'ah court has jurisdiction in family and criminal cases, and may also assume jurisdiction in commercial or civil cases if requested by a Muslim litigant. Muslims and non-Muslims may request the Shari'ah courts to assume jurisdiction in family, commercial, and civil cases.
The losing party in all types of courts may submit their cases to an appeals court. In cases tried by the Shari'ah Court, however, it is possible that the same judge will hear both the original case and the appeal.
The judiciary is attached to three different ministries. The civil courts are subordinate to the Justice Ministry. Whereas Shari'ah courts fall under the Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs, the prosecutors fall under the Ministry of the Interior.