Article (8) of the Basic Law of Governance stipulates: "The system of government in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is established on the foundation of justice, Shura (consultation) and equality in compliance with Islamic Shariah". The Shura (Consultation) Council Law, promulgated by Royal Decree No. 91, dated 27/8/1412H, corresponding to 02/33/1993, gives effect to one of these founding principles of the State, as the Council represents one of the pillars of governance. Article (4) of the Shura Council Law provides for the conditions which a Council member must meet, namely that he be a Saudi national by birth and descent, that he be known for probity and competence and that he be not less than 30 years of age. Article (15) of the same Law states that the Council has the jurisdiction to express an opinion on the public policies of the State forwarded to it by the President of the Council of Ministers and in particular:
- To discuss and express an opinion on the general plan for economic and social development;
- To study laws, regulations, international treaties and conventions, and concessions and make such proposals thereon as it sees fit;
- To analyse laws;
- To discuss the annual reports submitted by ministries and other government agencies and make such proposals thereon as it sees fit.
Article (17) of the Shura Council Law, amended by Royal Order No. (A/198), dated 02/10/1424H, corresponding to 27/11/2003, states: "Shura Council resolutions shall be submitted to the King for a decision on which resolutions are to be referred to the Cabinet. If the Cabinet and the Shura Council agree, a resolution is issued after receiving Royal approval. If they do not agree, the matter is sent back to the Shura Council for its opinion and then submitted to the King for his decision". Article (18) of the same Law affirms that laws, international treaties and conventions, and concessions must be issued and amended by Royal decrees after being reviewed by the Shura Council. Article (23) of the Law, amended by the aforementioned Royal Order No. (A/198), ensures the right of the Shura Council to propose new draft laws and amend enacted ones. Article (43) of the Basic Law of Governance stipulates: "The court of the King and of the Crown Prince shall be accessible to every citizen and to everyone who has a complaint or a grievance. Every individual shall have the right to address public authorities in matters of concern to him". The Law of Regions also includes a number of provisions enhancing the principle of participation in managing the public affairs of the State. Article (15) of this Law provides for establishing a region council at the headquarters of the region's governorate to be called "The Region Council". Under Paragraph (E) of Article 16 of the same Law, the said Council must include a number of locals (not less than 10) judged as eligible in terms of learning, experience and specialization to be appointed for a renewable four-year membership term. The Municipal Councils Law, promulgated by Royal Decree No. (M/61), dated 04/10/1435H, corresponding to 01/08/2014, defines the responsibilities and powers of municipal councils, regulates their supervisory tasks and determines how they are formed and how their members are elected and their resolutions made and approved. The committees formed in social development centers in the various governorates of the Kingdom represent a tool and a means for individuals to express their needs and discuss their situation. Article (3) of the Social Development Centers Regulations, promulgated by Council of Ministers' Resolution No. (161), dated 11/05/1428H, corresponding to 28/05/2007, entails the establishment of the social development centers, set up pursuant to the terms of these Regulations, on the basis of local people's participation in defining their needs and implementing related programs with material, moral and human resources. Article (4) of the same Regulations states that such centers should urge the local population to form committees and encourage them to determine the public needs of their regions and local communities. The King Abdulaziz Center for National Dialogue represents a mechanism for effective participation at the national level. The Center seeks to provide an environment supportive of and conducive to national dialogue between society members, both male and female. It focuses on achieving a wide range of issues including the following: addressing social, cultural, political, economic, educational and other issues through channels and mechanisms of intellectual dialogue; instilling the concept of dialogue and its associated behaviours in society so that dialogue would become a way of life and a method to address all types of issues; expanding the participation of community members and segments in the national dialogue; and strengthening the role of civil society institutions, so as to achieve justice, equality and freedom of expression within the framework of Islamic Shariah.