Qatar can be found in the Arab Gulf States and is governed by a distinctive legal system. One can describe the individuality of Qatar with two characteristics. Read more to learn about Qatar Laws. Firstly, being a traditional Muslim community, people would settle disputes based on the sharia court or Islamic court; applicable to sharia law or Muslim law.
Secondly, Qatar independence in 1971 signaled the ending of British protection along with the British legislation governing non-Muslim citizens. As a result, the Amir set up the Adlia or civil court to satisfy the requirements and issues which occurred from the cancellations of British jurisdiction.
This characteristics which is unusual to Qatar, produced a feasible dualism in the legal system distinctive from that of other Gulf States. However, this is not suggesting that dualism cannot be found in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates legal systems. But, as opposed to the four states in which the civil matters and economic activities of non-Muslims will be governed by special courts or committees supervised by Council Ministers and the King, the Adlia court in Qata is not subordinate to Amir and the ministers. This court is somewhat independent with a structure that is well-defined, something that you will not find in the legal systems of other dynasties.
After the invasion of British political influences as well as the oil discovery in 1940, translated laws was introduced. From 1916 to 71, the British were involved in Qatar and this brought legal institutions. In Qatar, the British legal system didn't replace local jurisdiction, which is the sharia law, instead it was similar to it. It governed non-Muslim and British residents who were employed to British oil businesses and companies, whilst Muslim residents continued to be at the mercy of the laws of the sharia court.
British courts were located at the consulate where judges implemented laws using the guidelines of the English common law, such as the right for people to be represented by an attorney in disputes. The final appeal for any decision made in the British court would be held by the Privy Council that was based in London. But, when Qatar received independence in 1971 there were no more British jurisdiction for foreigners who were non-Muslim. As a result, the sharia court obtained full jurisdiction for all criminal and civil matters of the foreigners in Qatar. Hence, non-Muslims status turned out to be incompatible with any laws implemented in the sharia court.
Aside from that, when the revenue for oil increased, the government started to encounter modernization within various fields. This took place in fields such as education, housing, medical services, social welfare programs, transportation, communication and state administration. Consequently, new Qatar laws and judicial strategies were needed urgently to handle implications and issues of modernization which were unknown not just to sharia law, but also to sharia court.