Already a judge in Riyadh, Saudi Arabian native Mohammed Al Mulhim came to the U of M Law School to study commercial law. But a conversation with a colleague from Tunisia soon changed his mind.
“He encouraged me to consider and take courses in human rights,” says Al Mulhim. “I read about it, and then I decided to major in it.”
Al Mulhim first earned an L.L.M (master’s) degree, graduating in 2014. A year later, still hungry for legal education, he jumped at the chance to enter the U of M’s new Doctor of Juridical Science program. In May 2018 he received the University’s first S.J.D. degree, the legal equivalent of a Ph.D. His dissertation concerned the independence of the Saudi judiciary.
“Lack of institutional independence of the judiciary in Saudi Arabia, whether factual or perceived, has a direct effect on the judges and even on Saudis’ views of justice of the courts,” he notes.
With his S.J.D. in hand, Al Mulhim plans to return to King Faisal University Law School, where he has previously taught, and establish a human rights center. He hopes the center will host lectures and conferences on labor, orphans’, and women’s rights.
“I want to raise awareness,” Al Mulhim says.