Comment on the Case No. 3253/2014-Adminstritive/9: Article 169 of the Constitution and the Future of Judicial Review for the Acts of Sovereignty in Kuwait

Prof. David Gwynn Morgan
Distinguished Proessor – Kuwait International Law School and Emeritus Professor of Law at University College Cork – Ireland


The Ahmed AL-Shimmary case is one of the most important constitutional decisions ever. The Court of Cassation ruled that, where citizenship is withdrawn by the Minister of the Interior, the Minister’s action may be referred to the courts by way of Judicial review. In other words, the argument that, this was a ‘ sovereign act’ and so not for the courts was rejected. The ruling was based largely on the Rule of Law (L’etat de droit) which is established in Kuwait by Article 169 of the Constitution, giving the court’s jurisdiction over all administrative acts.
This judgment opens up the possibility of further development in the field of judicial review. Significant developments of this type have occurred in Western Europe in the last few decades and have already started in a number of cases in Kuwait. The later part of this article considers the possibility of future developments here, under the following headings: type of error, under review;
functions excluded from the courts’ jurisdiction; disclosure of official facts; remedies; and court procedure.
Key Terms:
Ahmed AL-Shimmary case, revocation of citizenship Article 169 of the Constitution; jurisdiction of the courts over administrative acts by Judicial review; sovereign acts; many types of error considered on judicial review.

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