1. Is your jurisdiction primarily a common law, civil law, customary law or theocratic law jurisdiction? Are the laws substantially derived from the laws of another jurisdiction and, if so, which? What instruments have legal force and effect? Who are the lawmaking bodies? How and where are new laws published? Can laws be passed with retrospective effect?
Qatar is a civil law jurisdiction that is highly influenced by the Egyptian legal system, which was, in turn, inspired by French law. In the absence of statutory provisions, the Qatari legal system relies on Shari’a law.
The main instruments that have legal force and effect are published laws, ministerial decrees, Emiri decrees and decisions of the Supreme Judiciary Council and the Prime Minister.
The Shura Council is the main legislative authority, responsible for deliberating and making proposals with regard to the law. As provided under articles 105 and 106 of the Qatari Constitution issued in 2004, the relevant committee studies these submissions before passing them to the Shura Council for approval, which then passes the draft onto the Emir for ratification and promulgation.
Pursuant to article 70 of the Constitution, in cases of extreme urgency and when the Shura Council is not in session, the Emir may issue pertinent decrees that have the power of law. All laws are published on the Qatari legal portal (Al Meezan).
The Qatar Financial Center (QFC), established under Law No. 7 of 2005 (the QFC Law), is an onshore and common law jurisdiction that includes the QFC Authority, the QFC Regulatory Authority and the Qatar International Court and Dispute Resolution (QICDRC). The QICDRC comprises the Civil and Commercial Court of the QFC (QFC Court) and the QFC Regulatory Tribunal. The decisions of the QFC Court and Tribunal are published on the QFC website.Answer contributed by Myriam Eid and Danah Mohamed
Al Marri & El Hage Law Office