Comparative law and justice/Oman

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Part of the Comparative law and justice Wikiversity Project 19:32, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Basic Information[edit | edit source]

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Oman's total population is 3,418,085. Note includes 577,293 non-nationals (July 2009 est.) [1]

Geographic Coordinates: 21 00 N, 57 00 E [2]

Area: total: 309,500 sq km country comparison to the world: 70 land: 309,500 sq km water: 0 sq km [3]

Area-Comparative- About the size of Kansas [4]

Age Structure: 0-14 years: 42.7% (male 744,265/female 714,116) 15-64 years: 54.5% (male 1,079,511/female 783,243) 65 years and over: 2.8% (male 55,180/female 41,770) (2009 est.) [5]

Boarding Countries: Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and United Arab Emirates [6]

Climate: Dry desert, Southwest summer monsoons, humid along coast [7]

Urbanization: urban population: 72% of total population (2008) rate of urbanization: 2% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.) [8]

Capital- Muscat. [9]

Population in Cities: "In Oman, about 50% of the population lives in Muscat and the Batinah coastal plain northwest of the capital; about 200,000 live in the Dhofar (southern) region, and about 30,000 live in the remote Musandam Peninsula on the Strait of Hormuz." [10]

Religions:Ibadhi Muslim 75%, other (includes Sunni Muslim, Shia Muslim, Hindu) 25% [11] "less than 5 percent of the population and include various groups of Hindus, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, Sikhs, Baha'is, and Christians. [12]

Key ethnic groups:"Arab, Baluchi, East African (Zanzabari), South Asian (Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi)." [13]

Languages:Arabic (official), English, Baluchi, Urdu, Indian dialects [14]

Brief History[edit | edit source]

Before Islam, Oman (then Magan), was ruled by Persian dynasties. The dynasties were attracted to Oman’s close proximity to the ocean, vital for trade.[15]

Around 630AD Amr ibn al-As brought Islam to Oman and it has been Islamic ever since. Different dynasties ruled over Oman until 1508 when the Portuguese occupied Oman. The Portuguese were in control until 1648, when they were forced out by Yemeni tribes, who began the current line of ruling Sultans. Besides a small Persian invasion they have been self-governing ever since. [16]

“The Dhofar Rebellion was launched in the province of Dhofar against the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman and Britain from 1962 to 1975. As the radical-leaning rebellion threatened to overthrow the Sultan's rule in Dhofar and produced disorder in other parts of Oman, Sultan Said bin Taimur was deposed by his son Qaboos bin Said, who introduced major social reforms to deprive the rebellion of popular support and modernised the state's administration. The rebellion ended with the intervention of Iranian Imperial ground forces and major offensives by the expanded Sultan of Oman's Armed Forces.” [17]

Economic Development, Health, and Education[edit | edit source]

"Pre-university education in Oman has three stages: primary, preparatory, and secondary. Six years of primary schooling are followed by preparatory school. Academic results of the preparatory exams determine the type of secondary education the student will receive.

The adult illiteracy rate was estimated at 28.1% for the year 2000 (males, 19.6%; females, 38.3%). In 1998, there were 411 primary schools with 313,516 students and 12,052 teachers. Student-to-teacher ratio stood at 26 to 1. In secondary schools in 1998, there were 12,436 teachers and 217,246 students. As of 1999, 65% of primary-school-age children were enrolled in school, while 59% of those eligible attended secondary school. In the same year, public expenditure on education was estimated at3.9% of GDP. In 1993, there were 252 literacy centers and 176 adult education centers. Three teachers' colleges were functioning as of 1986. The Institute of Agriculture at Nazwa became a full college by 1985. Sultan Qaboos University opened in 1986. In 1998, all higher-level institutions had 1,307 teachers and 16,032 students." [18]

GDP:$52.34 billion (2009 est.) [19]

GDP per capita:20,300 (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 59 $20,400 (2008 est.)$19,800 (2007 est.)note: data are in 2009 US dollars [20]

GDP per industry: agriculture: 2.1% industry: 36.3% services: 61.6% (2009 est.) [21]

Key Industries: crude oil production and refining(key export), natural and liquefied natural gas (LNG) production(key import); construction, cement, copper, steel, chemicals, optic fiber [22]

Infant mortality rate:total: 16.88 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 118 male: 19.29 deaths/1,000 live births female: 14.35 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.) [23]

Life expectancies:total population: 74.16 years country comparison to the world: 93 male: 71.87 years female: 76.55 years (2009 est.) [24]

Literacy rate:total population: 81.4% male: 86.8% female: 73.5% (2003 census) [25]

Average school attainment:total: 12 years male: 12 years female: 11 years (2006) [26]

Governance[edit | edit source]

The type of Government is an absolute monarchy. The monarch is called the sultan and he is QABOOS BIN SAID. Under him is the Council of Oman or The Consultation/Shura Council. The members of the council are voted on in the smaller districts of Oman. After all the elections the candidates are presented to the sultan and he has the final pick of who gets on the committee. You must be at least 40 years of age and have good social standing. [27]

Under the sultan there are also ministers. They range from Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers to the Minister of Tourism. These ministers have great political power and really help the sultan run the country. All together there are 32 ministers. [28]

They do not have a constitution but they do have a set of laws that were put into effect 11/6/96. The document is called the Royal Decree No. 101/96. In this document it discusses criminal law as well as the separation of high ranking officials from becoming involved or partners with private businesses that are involved in government contracts. [29]

New public policy or laws are made and voted on by the Shura and the sultan. [30]

Elections[edit | edit source]

The only elections are for the council of Oman or the Shura. The sultan cannot be voted on. The succesor is chosen by the sultan.

Judicial Review[edit | edit source]

Oman has a Supreme Court for judicial review. They also have an Administrative Court that is seperate from the Judiciary and reviews all decisions made by any Government Body. [31]

Courts and Criminal Law[edit | edit source]

As most Islamic countries, Oman's court system is a mix of inquisitorial and adversary. This being said the judge's role is not absolutely always the same. The training for lawyers and judges starts at the College of Sharia and Jurisprudence. After a three year program the graduates can either join the ministry or the courts. If they wish to be a judge they must then specialize in Sharia Jurisprudence. However, in the future Oman plans to set up a five year institution to train judges. [32]

The hierarchy of the court system is:Supreme Court,Appeal Courts,Preliminary Courts, and Courts of Summary Jurisdiction. All of these courts hear all criminal, civil and commercial cases, but personal matters are referred to the Sharia courts. The Sharia courts are Islamic courts. The presumption of guilt of innocence is decided by the judge, unless it is a Supreme court case, in which the Supreme court and the Sultan make the decision. [33]

Punishment[edit | edit source]

Capital Punishment- The last case of capital punishment in Oman was in 2001. The person was convicted of murder and drug trafficking. [34]

Fines/compensation- Fines are used in the criminal system, but cannot be appealed unless it is more than U.S $1,300. Compensation in the commercial court is common. [35]

Prison conditions- Prison conditions are up to international standards, but are very tough. There have been many reports of poor ventilation and very extreme temperatures in the prisons due to it. Men, women, and juveniles have different facilities. [36]

Disparities- Rape is considered illegal, but very rarely convicted because one man's testimony is weighed as much as two women's. [37] Because the Shari'a court (Islamic court) deals with all family and personal matters, spousal rape would go before a Shari'a judge. However, the Shari'a has no punishment for spousal rape. Women must look to family in cases of domestic violence, even if it involves the children. There have also been many cases of men sexually harassing employees. These men rarely, if ever get punished. Even in extreme cases of physical and sexual abuse to servants, they go unpunished. [38]

Justification of punishment- The Royal Oman Police view punishment as justified because the offender brought it on themselves. It is the right and duty of the state to punish offenders. [39]

Imprisonment rates- In 2000 there were 2,020 people incarcerated. That is 81 people per 100,000 people. [40]

Legal Personnel[edit | edit source]

Look to Courts and Criminal Law for legal personal.

Law Enforcement[edit | edit source]

The Police system is organized as a centralized-multiple structure. They have State police and Quasi-military models of policing. There are some separations, but they are working for the same common goals. They also follow a traditional police model because of the Sultan and his authoritative tendencies. The Police presence in Oman is relatively new. The Royal Oman Police was established just less than 30 years ago. The Royal Oman Police (ROP) hierarchy starts with the Sultan. Under the Sultan is the Inspector General of Police and Customs. Under him is the assistant Inspector then it branches off into the Police Headquarters and the Directorate General. The Police headquarters then branches of into other subcategories by geographical regions and special task forces. Then under that is what is referred to as the specialized divisions that include the coast guard, mounted police, and special security police division. Under the Directorate are the directorate general (DG) of prisons, human resources, civil defense, traffic, and criminal investigations. Under these are the specialized directorates that include welfare, aviation, police music band, etc. There is no Non Muslim citizen's in the ROP or Omani Army. The Non Muslim citizen's do not get a chance to get into the legal system due to majority of Muslims. [41]

Recruiting, selection, and training are very similar to the U.S.A. Men join at free will and are specially educated in their division of the ROP. When they move up in rank some additional training may be needed. [42]

The most notable corruption in Oman by the ROP is the neglect to the issue of Human trafficking. Many men and women from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sir Lanka, and the Philippines willingly migrate to Oman for work in construction, agriculture, and service sectors. Many times however these groups find themselves in involuntary servitude. Many cases of passports being withheld by employers or other restrictions on movement have been reported. In addition many women from China, India, Morocco, Eastern Europe, and South Asia have been trafficked to Oman for sexual exploitation. The Oman Government has legislation pending addressing the issue of human trafficking, but the corruption seems to be very deep so it is unclear how much the new laws can affect this issue. [43]

The Royal Army, Navy, and Air force of Oman's relationship with the ROP is similar to the idea of First among equals. They are "partners" in preventing unwanted conduct in and around Oman, but are above the ROP.

Crime Rates and Public Opinion[edit | edit source]



Car thefts-423

Corruption > % of managers surveyed ranking this as a major business constraint 11.87 %

Courts > % of managers surveyed lacking confidence in courts to uphold property rights 12.92 %

Courts > % of managers surveyed ranking this as a major business constraint 14.84 %

Drug offences-247 per 100,000 people Embezzlements-6 Executions-6

   Executions (per capita)  1.99867 executions per 1 million  

Females prosecuted-710 Frauds-194 Jails-1,164

   Jails (per capita)  0.000666223 per 1,000 people  

Kidnappings-5 Manslaughters-13 Murders-15 Murders with firearms 0 Prisoners 1,403 prisoners

Prisoners > Female 5%

Prisoners > Foreign prisoners 20.3%

Prisoners > Per capita 81 per 100,000 people

Rapes-115 Robberies-166 Sentence Length-1,403 Software piracy rate-61% Total crimes-11,782 [44]

"Transnational Issues > Trafficking in persons > Current situation Oman is a destination country for men and women primarily from Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan who migrate willingly, but some of whom become victims of trafficking when subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude as domestic workers and laborers; mistreatment includes non-payment of wages, restrictions on movement and withholding of passports, threats, and physical or sexual abuse; Oman may also be a destination country for women from Asia, Eastern Europe, and North Africa for commercial sexual exploitation." [45]

Reporting problems that may make these numbers less reliable is the fact that in Oman there is an absolute monarchy so crimes committed like corruption within the hiearchy of the monarchy would not be reported. The " big families" is Oman have lots of control in business and it is reported in smaller newspapers and websites. None of the major newspapers would publish anything with negative publicity about the monarchy. [46]

Rights[edit | edit source]

Family Law[edit | edit source]

The Shari'a court (Islamic court) has jurisdiction over marriage, divorce, adoption, child custody, and inheritance. The husband and father of the household have all the decision-making rights. Women and children are spoken for by their husband or father. [47]

Citizenship rights are determined by the state. For many families that left Oman during the 1970's when civil war was occurring and try to return now, have problems gaining citizenship. The law states that if you marry an Omani you can gain citizenship, but most likely your application will be denied. If you are born to a mixed family (one parent is Omani, one is not) than you may or may not be given citizenship. You may also be given citizenship, but you will have different rights than if both of your parents were Omani. [48]

Social Inequality[edit | edit source]

In the past, women and children in Oman were not allowed to speak for themselves.

For several years, women rarely did/could own a home. Many women claimed that because the local law gave the house to the man in a divorce, it has kept many women in abusive marriages. However, due to the change of policy in Oman, women are not at a disadvantage and are actively involved in trade and commerce. [49]

Human Rights[edit | edit source]

Rhetoric-Oman is part of the UN, which means they have committed themselves to human rights. [50]

"Right information report is that it has number of traditional human rights as provided for, including the right to liberty and security of persons, human rights for equality of persons before the law, human rights for protection of persons from torture, the right to own private property, human rights for primary education, human rights for higher technical education and human rights for freedom of peaceful assembly and association. The Charter also provides Committee of Experts on Human Rights to consider States' reports. The Oman being member of League of Arab States, and thus has made binding League of Arab commitments to adhere to the standards laid down in these universal human rights documents. The inhabitants of Oman and their representatives are able to invoke their human rights through Arabic Commission of Human Rights, created by 22 member States of the League of Arab States of which Oman is member. All inhabitants of Oman may turn to the UN Human Rights Committee through Council of the League of Arab States procedure for violations of specific human rights." [51]

Reality-"Right information report based on US Departments Reports, and Amnesty International and many local human rights activists is that implementation of declaration on many articles is mere formality and administration human rights record remained poor although there were improvements. Human rights of child for education and human rights of women for dignity as given in declaration of human rights are repeatedly violated by police administration itself .Child human rights, Disability human rights, Housing human rights, employment human rights, Refugee human rights, Reproductive Rights, Trafficking human rights are repeatedly being violated and there is no check over it, by administration and adequate redresses system is not available. Domestic media and local human rights activists’ Right information report available online is that that police use of excessive force resulted in killings." [52]

Works Cited[edit | edit source]

  27. https://http://
  28. https://http://
  29. https://http://
  30. https://http://
  44. https://
  45. https://
  46. https://