By Courtney Trenwith
Foreign lawyers are being forced to retire despite a lack of local expertise; gov’t reportedly will launch an electronic encyclopaedia
Kuwait is planning to replace foreign legal workers who each have at least 30 years’ experience with an online legal encyclopaedia, according to Al Qabas daily.
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor is forcing the lawyers to retire as part of its efforts to reform the industry and increase the number of Kuwaiti lawyers.
However, critics have said the country does not yet have the required expertise to replace the foreigners, many of whom have helped to build the country’s legal system and have advised on government policies and draft legislation.
Sources told Al Qabas the ministry would launch a legal encyclopaedia as well as electronically linking the Ministry of Justice and the Fatwa and Legislation Department to make gaining legal information easier.
Usually, foreigners who are no longer working in Kuwait or are not sponsored by an employer or family member have to leave the country.
Kuwait, like other Gulf states, is attempting to increase the number of citizens in the private sector. Presently, more than 90 percent of working Kuwaitis are employed by the severely bloated public sector, at an enormous financial burden to the government.