In his speech at the opening of the 46th Ordinary Session of the Shura Council on November 14, 2017, His Highness the Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani addressed the need to develop the justice system to ensure the independence of the judiciary and to avoid protracted court proceedings. The Emir also stated the necessity of increasing the human, administrative and organisational resources available to the courts, the public prosecution, and associated bodies, and the need establish branches of those entities in different areas of the country.
Strengthening the legislative and judicial authorities in Qatar shows support for the principle of the rule of law, and is an important step towards greater effectiveness, efficiency, and fairness in the country’s legal system. This will have a positive effect on the investment environment because investors will have assurance that their rights and obligations will be determined in transparent legal system and before an independent and effective judiciary.
On February 7, 2018, the Ministerial Council addressed a suite of draft laws proposed by the Ministry of Justice, the Supreme Council of the Judiciary and the Public Prosecution for the development of the Qatari judicial system. Amongst them are:
- Draft law amending some provisions of the Judicial Authority Law promulgated by Law No. 10 of 2003.
- Draft law amending some provisions of the Civil and Commercial Procedures Law promulgated by Law No. 13 of 1990.
- Draft law amending certain provisions of Law No. 12 of 2005 regarding Procedures in Non-penal Cassation Appeals.
- Draft law amending some provisions of Law No. 10 of 2002 concerning the Public Prosecution.
- Draft law amending certain provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure promulgated by Law No. 23 of 2004.
- Draft law on Conciliation and Reconciliation Centres in Civil and Commercial Disputes.
Evidently, the State of Qatar is striving to ensure that the vision and strategy set forth by HH the Emir for the development of the justice system transpires.
The laws drafts, however, one clear addition to the dispute resolution processes in the State of Qatar is the announcement of the potential establishment of conciliation and reconciliation centres for civil and commercial disputes. Conciliation centres, as a general matter, provide a platform for disputed parties to facilitate an unbiased alternative dispute resolution process through arbitration, mediation, or adjudication.