Qatar Laws in English
Qatar Laws Information

A very unique legal system is used in Qatar. There are two ways that Qatar laws are implemented. The first law is the traditional law which incorporates the Muslin societal setting; this is known as the Sharia courts (Islamic Court) that implements Sharia law.

The second kind of law is the independence of Qatar which was signed into the law governing system in the year 1971 and this law applies to non-Muslims. This law led to the introduction of Adlia courts (civil courts) to meet law requirements of the non-Muslim citizens residing in Qatar.

Qatar Laws and Legislation

Under Qatar's legislation, there are two law one for the Muslims and the other for non-Muslims. Qatar's Adlia court is not subordinate to the Amir and his ministers. The work of the Qatar minister for justice is just to supervise and never to legislate secular laws which are considered to be a privilege of the Adila court itself.

Qatar as a state has a territory that is situated halfway along the west coast of the Gulf and it covers an area of 4,400 square miles. Qatar main income earner is oil making Qatar earn the status of the third highest per capita income in the world. As centuries have come and gone, Qatar's legal system had emerged in three stages which are: tribal law (Desert law), Sharia law, Modern law.

Qatar Sharia Law

In the Sharia law, there are several courts that include the Petty Sharia Court: This court has a first and second court. Each court is run by two judges, the first court does have jurisdiction over cases that need to be concluded rapidly. The crimes tried here include; felony, theft and assaults. The second court is mandated with the task of handling personal status which includes divorce, marriages and contracts amongst individuals.

Qatar Emir Decrees

Emir means a commander or a prince; this is a title of high office that is used all over the Muslim world. An Emir is considered as high ranking Sheikhs, however in monarchic states, this term is also placed upon Princes with "Emirate" being similar to a sovereign princedom. The very first meaning of Emir is that of Chieftain also known as commander. This status is used for a certain group of people and it was used for governors and rulers whop over see smaller states. This title was also placed upon the Famed Islamic Prophet Muhammad.

Qatar Resolutions

The Qatar International Court was formally known as the Civil and Commercial Court of the Qatar Financial Centre which was set up under the law of Qatar in the year 2009 and this effort was initiated as a tactical aspect to attract international business and financial services into Qatar. The judges ruling over the court are known to have vast experience of resolving complex disputes and the judges are known to settle matters independently without any interference from the state.

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.