UPDATE: Kuwait Legal System and Research

By Dr Ahmed Aly Khedr

Dr. Khedr is a faculty member Faculty of Law at the British University in Egypt (BUE) and Adviser of Corporate Affairs. He holds LL.B., B.A. of Police Science, LL.M. in International Commerce and Ph.D. Highest Class with honor in Commercial Law major in Corporate Law and Corporate Governance from Ain Shams University. He holds Professional Education in Business Management, Corporate Restructuring, Mergers & and Acquisitions from Harvard University, professional (TOT) in Corporate Governance from (IFC) World Bank Group. In addition, he has many professional Courses and certifications relevant to Mediation, Compliance, AML/CFT, Development & Management, Computer and Information Security and Management of safety. Dr. Khedr has more 15 years' experience in as practitioner, Lecturer and Adviser of Law and Corporate Affairs. His fields of interest are Commercial & Corporate Laws, Int. Commerce Law, Corporate Governance & Compliance Systems, M&A, Financial Crimes, Consumer Law, AML, Mediation, Commercial Contracts, Investor Relations, Regulations, Family Business Charter, Stock Market Corporate codes, Code of Conduct and CSR. He has published research and books on these topics in periodicals and scientific journals. He has provided consulting in Corporate Affairs to many firms, several multinational and local companies in MENA and USA. Ahmed has an experience in the MENA especially Egypt and the Gulf countries. The ABCCG (Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry) chose him for designing the first "Corporate Governance Program for Lawyers & Corporate Advisory” in UAE and Arab Region.

Ahmed has been member founder and Program Manager for College of Law, Taibah University in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Dr Khedr is member of the T20 (Association of Egyptian Alumni of Global Business Schools) supporting the Egyptian government to assess projects existing, provide recommendations in investment and companies Laws to Prime Minister and Minister of Planning. He is founding partner of KLCCA, one of the leader and fastest growing MENA firms in Corporate Affairs, in addition, he is an Independent Board Member for many companies and Not-Profit institutions. Dr. Khedr is a member of ECGI, UIA, ALU, ESIL, ESPESL, SLS, IACL, HUMA and HAAA.

Published June 2019

(Previously updated in November/December 2012 and June 2016)

See the Archive Version

Table of Contents

1. Introduction and General History

1.1. Introduction

The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab emirate situated in the northeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. Kuwait lays in the north west of the Arabian Gulf, between latitudes 28.30 and 30.06 north, and longitudes 46.30 and 49.00 east. Its north-west borders are with Iraq, and its south and south-west borders are with Saudi Arabia. Its shores of the Arabian Gulf lie on the west. This special location provided Kuwait with a commercial importance. It is a natural outlet for northwestern part of the Arab Peninsula. The total area of Kuwait is 17,818 square Kilometers.

The official language of Kuwait is Arabic and Islam is the official religion of Kuwait. Freedom of religion is guaranteed to the adherents of other religions, provided that no prejudice may occur against Islam. The State of Kuwait is one of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

The Bani Utbah tribes were the first settlers in the region and laid the foundation of the emirate. By 19th century, Kuwait came under the influence of the Ottoman Empire and after the World War I; it emerged as an independent sheikhdom under the protection of the British Empire. Kuwait's large oil fields were discovered in the late 1930s. After it gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1961, the nation's oil industry saw unprecedented growth. In 1990, Kuwait was invaded and annexed by neighboring Iraq. The seven month-long Iraqi occupation ended after a direct military intervention by international community forces and United States-led forces. Kuwaiti oil wells were set ablaze by the retreating Iraqi army resulting in a major environmental and economic catastrophe. Kuwait's infrastructure was badly damaged during the war and had to be rebuilt.

In mid-2014, the population of Kuwait Population Estimation was 3767415 persons according to the Central Statistical Bureau. In this census, the number of Kuwaitis reached represents almost one-third, while the rest were non-Kuwaitis and foreigners.

Administrative divisions: the State of Kuwait is divided into many districts around the capital, Farwaniya, Al-Ahmadi, Mubarak Al-Kabir and Jahra, Hawali. There are nine islands off the coast of Kuwait: Failaka, Bubiyan, Miskan, Warba, Auhha, Umm Al-Maradim, Umm Al-Naml, Kubbar and Qaruh. The official currency of Kuwait is Kuwaiti Dinar.

The major cities are the capital Kuwait City and Jahrah. The main residential and commercial areas are Salmiya and Hawalli. The main industrial area is Shuwaikh within the Al Asimah Governorate. The main palace is the As-Seef Palace in the old part of Kuwait City where the Emir runs the daily matters of the country and the government headquarters are in the Bayan Palace and the Emir lives in Dar Salwa.

Kuwait is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government, with Kuwait City serving as the country's political and economic capital. Kuwait is one of the world countries to have the big largest oil reserves and is one of the richest countries in the world per capita. Petroleum and petroleum products now account for nearly 95% of export revenues, and 80% of government income. Kuwait is regarded as one of the most economically developed countries in the Arab League.

1.2. History of Kuwait

1.2.1. Ancient History

In the 4th century BC, the ancient Macedonians colonized an island on Kuwait's coast, now known as Failaka, and named it "Ikaros". Earliest recorded history of the State of Kuwait goes back to the year 1613. Tribes from central Arabia settled in Kuwait in the 17th-century after experiencing a massive drought in their native land. Kuwait would later emerge as a major center for the spice trade between India and Europe. By late 18th-century, most of the local people made a living selling pearls.

In 1756, the people elected Sabah I bin Jaber as the first emir of Kuwait. The current ruling family of Kuwait, al-Sabah, are descendants of Sabah I. During the rule of the Al-Sabah, Kuwait progressively became a center of trade and commerce. It served as a hub of trade between India, the horn of Africa, the Nejd, Mesopotamia and the Levant. Up until the advent of Japanese pearl farming, Kuwait had one of the largest sea fleets in the Gulf region and a flourishing pearling industry. Trade consisted mainly of pearls, wood, spices, dates and horses.

1.2.2. Modern History and Gulf War

As the influence of the Ottoman Empire increased in the region, Kuwait was assigned the status of a caza of the Ottomans. After the signing of the Anglo-Ottoman Convention of 1913, the then-Amir of Kuwait, Mubarak Al-Sabah, was diplomatically recognized by both the Ottomans and British as the ruler of the autonomous caza of the city of Kuwait and the hinterlands. The 1922 Treaty of Uqair set Kuwait's border with Saudi Arabia and established the Saudi-Kuwaiti neutral zone, an area of about 5,180 km adjoining Kuwait's southern border.

Oil was first discovered in Kuwait in the 1930s and the government became more proactive in establishing internationally recognized boundaries. After World War I, the Ottoman Empire was financially crippled and the invading British Indian Army invalidated the Anglo-Ottoman Convention, declaring Kuwait to be an "independent sheikdom under British protectorate".

On 19 June 1961, Kuwait became fully independent following an exchange of notes between the United Kingdom and the then Amir of Kuwait, Abdullah Al-Salim Al-Sabah. The Gulf rupee, issued by the Reserve Bank of India, was replaced by the Kuwaiti dinar. The discovery of large oil fields, such as the Burgan field, triggered a large influx of foreign investments into Kuwait. The massive growth of the petroleum industry transformed Kuwait into one of the richest countries in the Arabian Peninsula and by 1952; the country became the largest exporter of oil in the Gulf region. This massive growth attracted many foreign workers, especially from Egypt and India.

Kuwait settled its boundary disputes with Saudi Arabia and agreed on sharing equally the neutral zone's petroleum reserves, onshore and offshore. After a brief stand-off over boundary issues, Iraq formally recognized Kuwait's independence and its borders in October 1963. During the 1970s, the Kuwaiti government nationalized the Kuwait Oil companies, ending its partnership with Gulf Oil and British Petroleum.

In 1982, Kuwait experienced a major economic crisis after the Souk Al-Manakh stock market crash and the following decrease in oil price. However, the crisis was short-lived as Kuwait's oil production increased steadily to fill the gap caused by decrease in Iraq's and Iran's oil production levels following the events of the Iran–Iraq War. In 1983, a series of bomb explosions took place in Kuwait killing some people. The attack was carried out by Shiite Dawa Party as retaliation against Kuwait's financial support to Iraq during its war with Iran. Kuwait had heavily funded Iraq's eight year-long war with Iran. After the war ended, Kuwait declined an Iraqi request to forgive its US$65 billion debt. An economic warfare between the two countries followed after Kuwait increased its oil production by 40 percent. Tensions between the two countries increased further after Iraq alleged that Kuwait was slant drilling oil from its share of the Rumaila field.

On 2 August, 1990 Iraqi forces invaded and annexed Kuwait. Saddam Hussein, then President of Iraq, deposed the emir of Kuwait, Jaber Al-Sabah, and installed Ali Hassan al-Majid as the new governor of Kuwait. After a series of failed diplomatic negotiations, the United States-led coalition of thirty-four nations fought the Gulf War to remove the Iraqi forces from Kuwait. On February 26, 1991, the coalition succeeded in driving out the Iraqi forces and restoring the Kuwaiti emir to power.

During their retreat, the Iraqi armed forces carried out a scorched earth policy by damaging many oil wells in Kuwait, which were set on fire. Oil and soot accumulation had affected the entire Gulf region. The fires took more than nine months to extinguish and it took Kuwait more than 2 years and about US$50 billion in infrastructure reconstruction to reach pre-invasion oil output. Kuwait has since largely recovered from the socio-economic, environmental, and public health effects of the Gulf War.

1.2.3. Historical Timeline

1914 Kuwait becomes an independent state under British protection
1922 Kuwait-Saudi Arabia relations are established with the Treaty of Uqair
1961 Kuwait announces its complete independence and is threatened by Iraq, but it is helped by Great Britain sending troops
23 Jan 1962 First elections to the National Assembly
14 May 1962 Kuwait becomes the 111th member of the UN
11 Nov 1962 Promulgation of the 1962 Constitution
4 Dec 1965 Shaikh Sabah al-Salem succeeds his brother as Amir
23 Jan 1971 Nationalist Party under Ahmedal Khatib wins 10 seats in parliamentary elections
1976 During recess, the National Assembly is dissolved and constitutional provisions about re-election and the freedom of the press are suspended
8 Feb 1978 A new government under the Heir apparent and Prime Minister is formed after Shaikh Jabir al-Ahmad becomes the new Amir
23 Feb 1981 During parliamentary elections, pro-government candidates win an overwhelming majority and convene in a new National Assembly
19 Jan 1982 Female Suffrage is refused following recommendation of a government committee
11 July 1985 After bomb attacks on cafes in Kuwait City, an anti-subversion bill threatens death penalty for all bombing terrorists
3 July 1986 The Amir Jabir al-Ahmad by decree suspends constitutional rights (political and press activity), dissolves the National Assembly, has Crown Prince Saad al-Abdullah form a new government, and announces the government by decree
31 Aug 1986 The Amir by decree dissolves the municipal councils
July 1990 Iraq, under President Saddam Hussein, stresses that its border disputes with Kuwait were never solved and Kuwait undermines Iraqi exports by not meeting OPEC quotas
2 Aug 1990 Iraq invades Kuwait; on the same day, the UN Security Council passes Resolution 660 condemning the invasion
28 Aug 1990 Kuwait is declared the 19th province of Iraq
13 Oct 1990 The exiled government of Amir and Crown Prince promised to consolidate the Constitution by reactivating political and communication rights
16 Jan to 28 Feb 1991 'Operation Desert Storm' forces Iraq to comply with UN resolutions and reinstates the Kuwaiti government of the al-Sabah family

2. Kuwait Regime

Kuwait is an independent country with a constitution. It has a democratic amiri regime. His Highness the Amir of the State is the ruler of the country. The Kuwait National Assembly must enact country laws. People choose the assembly members every 4 years through free and fair elections. Authorities in Kuwait are divided into legislative, executive and judiciary and the Amir is the head of the authorities. Pursuant to the Kuwait Constitution, no parties might be formed despite the existence of parliamentary blocs. Kuwait's system of government is monarchical and constitutional. It derives its legitimacy from the Kuwait Constitution. Hence, the authority is transferred between the members of the ruling family; the family of Mubarak Al-Sabah. The title of Kuwait ruler is Amir and he rules through the cabinet. Decrees are not executed unless approved by the Amir. Only the Amir can issue pardons. Kuwait government system is both parliamentary and presidential, as no laws enacted by Kuwait National Assembly are valid until signed by the Amir within one month. After the month, if they are not signed, they are in force same as being signed. If laws and legislations are returned to the Assembly, then approved, they become in force without the Amir's signature.

3. The Kuwait Legal System

Shari’a (Islamic law) is the main source of legislations. The Articles (1:3) of the permanent Constitution of the state of Kuwait state that “Kuwait is an Arab State, independent and fully sovereign. Neither its sovereignty nor any part of its territory may be relinquished. The people of Kuwait are a part of the Arab Nation. Its religion is Islam and Shari’a law (Islamic Religious Law) is main source of its legislations. Its political system is democratic. The Arabic language shall be its official language.” The legal system of Kuwait is an amalgam of British common law, French civil law, Islamic legal principles, and Egyptian law.

3.1. The Basic System

Constitutional Background: Kuwait's 1962 Constitution draws on both Western and Arab models. However, women do not have a right to vote and the freedom of association does not include the foundation of political parties. Constitutional guarantees have been frequently suspended by Amiri decree. However, after the 1990 invasion of Iraqi forces, the 1991 'Operation Desert Storm' reinstated the Kuwaiti government of the al-Sabah family.

Kuwait's Constitution combines the positive aspects of both presidential and parliamentary forms of government. It is based on principles of democracy - on the sovereignty of the nation, freedom of the citizen and on equality of all citizens in the eyes of the law.

The concept of universal suffrage requires the right to vote to be granted to all its residents. Voting is an important part of the formal democratic process. The Kuwait General Election Law was amended to include female citizens to vote and run in parliamentary elections. The Kuwaiti National Assembly approved on 05/16/2005 a historic law granting women the right to vote and run in elections for the first time in an Arab Gulf countries.

There was also an important amendment prevent a citizen to vote for more than one candidate (Before the last amendment, the citizen can selects more than one candidate in the same constituency) on 2013.

Kuwait is a fully independent Arab State with a democratic style of government, where sovereignty rests with the nation, which is the source of power." As prescribed by the constitution, the system of government is based on the separation of powers, although co-operation is required by the Constitution. The legislative authority is vested in the Amir and the national Assembly, while executive power is vested exclusively in the Amir and his Cabinet and Ministers.

3.1.1. Issuance and Amendment of the Constitution

The constitution of Kuwait was laid down by a constituent assembly of 20 members elected by people. 11 ministers were added to them from outside the assembly. These ministers refrained to vote on the constitution articles while being passed in the constituent assembly as they wished for the elected members alone to do so. Preparation and discussion of the articles of constitution took almost 6 months. On 11/1/1962, the will of Kuwait's Amir, the deceased Sheikh Abdullah Al Salem Al-Sabah, corresponded with that of people's representatives and ratified the draft constitution as the representatives drew it without any amendment to its articles. The constitution came into force on 29/1/1963 when the first Kuwaiti National Assembly convened.

The Kuwaiti Constitution, comprising 183 articles is divided into five parts:

By Article 174 of Permanent Constitution, The Amir or one-third of the members of the National Assembly have the right to propose a revision of the Constitution by amending or deleting one or more of its provisions or by adding new provisions. If the Amir and the majority of the members constituting the National Assembly approve the principle of revision and its subject matter, the Assembly debates the bill article by article. The amendment shall be passed by a two-thirds majority of the Members of the Council. The revision comes into force only after being sanctioned and promulgated by the Amir regardless of the provisions of Articles 65 and 66. If, on the other hand, the proposal for amendment is rejected in principle or in subject, it may not be re-introduced before the lapse of one year from the date of its rejection. The amendment to this Constitution cannot be proposed before the lapse of five years from its coming into force.

The Article 175 of the Constitution makes clear that the provisions relating to the Amiri System in Kuwait and the principles of liberty and equality, provided for in this Constitution, may not be proposed for revision except in relation to the title of the Amirate or to increase the guarantees of liberty and equality.

The Article 176 of Permanent Constitution adds that the powers of the Amir set forth in this Constitution may not be subject to an application for amendment during the term of his deputation.

Furthermore, by Article 181 no provision of this Constitution may be suspended save where martial laws are in force and within the limits specified by the law; however, the meetings of National Assembly may not be suspended nor should the immunity of its Members be violated during this period.

3.1.2. The Values of Justice and Issuance of Laws

There are several articles in Kuwait’s Constitution that confirm the value of justice. For example, Article 7 of the Constitution puts Justice, Liberty, and Equality as the pillars of society’s operation and mutual help is considered to be the firmest bond between citizens. Article 29 clearly states that all persons are equal in human dignity and in public rights and duties before the law and there shall be no discrimination whatsoever on grounds of sex, race, language, or religion.

The Constitution also confirms the established principles of law in Article 34, which tells that an accused person is presumed innocent until proved guilty in a legal trial at which the necessary guarantees for the exercise of the right of defense are secured. And Article 32 adds that no crime and no penalty may be established except by virtue of law, and no penalty may be imposed except for offences committed after the relevant law has come into force. Also, Article 162 adds that justice and impartiality of judges are the foundation of the state, and a guarantee of rights and freedoms. This is taken care of in the Constitution in the third part in many articles such as Articles 27, 28, 35, 36, 37, 40, 41, and 44. Issuing Laws

The second Article of the permanent Constitution of the state of Kuwait points out that Shari’a law (Islamic Religious Law) shall be a main source of its legislations. Article 6 adds that its political system is democratic. Article 65 of permanent Constitution clearly states that The Amir shall have the right to initiate, sanction and promulgate laws. Promulgation of laws shall take place within thirty days from the date of their submission by the National Assembly to the Amir. This period shall be reduced to seven days in case of urgency. Such urgency shall be decided upon by a majority vote of the members constituting the National Assembly. If the period of promulgation expires without the Head of State demanding reconsideration, the bill shall be considered as having been sanctioned and shall be promulgated. Article 79 adds that the promulgated law must be passed by the National Assembly and sanctioned by the Amir. In exceptional cases, The Amir may, in the event of exceptional cases that require measures of utmost urgency which necessitate the issue of special laws and in case that Parliament is not in session, issue pertinent decrees that have the power of law, by use (Article 71) of the Constitution.

Such decree-laws shall be submitted to the Parliament at its first meeting; and the Council may discuss them within a maximum period of five to ten days from the date of submission; such decree-laws shall cease to have the power of law from the date of their rejection by the Parliament or where the period for effecting the amendments have expired.

The Official Gazette : Article 178 of the Constitution settles that Laws are published in the Official Gazette within two weeks of their promulgation and come into force one month after their publication. The latter period may be extended or reduced for any law by a special provision included in it. The Kuwait Gazette (Kuwait Al Youm) is published by the Ministry of Information every Sunday.

Special Note on Legal Research: All laws and provisions of laws are found at the Legal Information Network of Gulf - Kuwait where laws are associated with their field of study. The Legal Information Network of Gulf - Kuwait contains nearly 100 laws. The Official Gazette - Kuwait Gazette (Kuwait Al Youm) is also available in Reqaba Electronic journal (Arabic). As for selected cases from high courts, they also can be found in Arabic in Reqaba.

Different legislationsare issued in many different areas as The Kuwaiti Constitution of 1962 provides for an independent judiciary, and Law No. 19 of 1959 (amended in Law No. 19 of 1990) regulates the organization and functioning of the judiciary. The major legal codifications include the Civil Code, contained in Decree Law No. 67 of 1980; the Code of Civil Procedure, contained in Law No. 38 of 1980 (amended in Law No. 47 of 1994); the Commercial Code, contained in the Law of Commerce No. 68 of 1980 (amended by Law No. 45 of 1989); the Penal Code, contained in Law No. 16 of 1960; and the Code of Criminal Procedure, contained in Law No. 17 of 1960. Conclusion of Treaties and Agreements

Article 70 of the permanent constitution gives to the Amir the power to conclude treaties and agreements by a decree and refer them to National Assembly accompanied by appropriate explanatory notes. The treaty or agreement shall have the power of law after ratification and publication in the official Gazette; however, treaties of peace and alliance; treaties concerning the territory of the State, its natural resources or sovereign rights, or public or private rights of citizens; treaties of commerce, navigation, and residence; and treaties entailing additional expenditure not provided for in the budget, or involving amendment of the laws of Kuwait shall come into force when the same are issued as a law. Under no case may a treaty include secret conditions contradicting its publicized conditions.

3.2. The Governance

Kuwait is an independent country with a constitution. It has a democratic amiri regime. His Highness the Amir of the State is the ruler of the country. Kuwait National Assembly must enact country laws. The number of the assembly members is 50, chosen by people every 4 years through free and fair elections. Authorities in Kuwait are divided into legislative, executive and judiciary and the Amir is the head of the authorities. Pursuant to Kuwait Constitution, no parties might be formed despite the existence of parliamentary blocs. Kuwait's system of government is monarchical and constitutional. It derives its legitimacy from Kuwait Constitution. Hence, the authority is transferred between the members of the ruling family; the family of Mubarak Al-Sabah. The title of Kuwait’s ruler is Amir and he rules through the cabinet. Decrees are not executed unless approved by the Amir. Only the Amir can issue pardons. Kuwait’s government system is both parliamentary and presidential as all laws enacted by Kuwait National Assembly are not valid until signed by the Amir within one month. After the month, if they are not signed, they are in force the same as being signed. If laws and legislations are returned to the Assembly then approved, they come in force without the Amir’s signature.

3.2.1. The H.H. Amir

The Constitution of Kuwait defines the Amir as the "Head of the State" with his official title as "His Highness the Amir of the State of Kuwait." It also says that "the Amir will assume his authorities through his ministers, and his person shall be immune and inviolable. The Prime Minister and ministers shall be collectively responsible to the Amir for the general policy of the state. A law will not be issued until it is approved by the National Assembly and signed by the Amir." As Head of State, the Amir has the right to appoint the Prime Minister and relieve him of office. He also appoints and dismisses ministers on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. The Amir is also the Supreme Commander of the defense forces of Kuwait.

Article 4 of the permanent constitution of the state of Kuwait makes clear that the rule of the State is hereditary in the line of the descendants of the late Mubarak al-Sabah. The Heir Apparent shall be designated within one year, at the latest, from the date of accession of the Amir. The Amir’s designation shall be effected by an Amiri Order upon the nomination of the Amir and the approval of the National Assembly, which shall be signified by a majority vote of its members in a special sitting. In case no designation is achieved in accordance (Article 4) with the foregoing procedure the Amir shall nominate at least three of the descendants of the late Mubarak al-Sabah of whom the National Assembly shall pledge allegiance to one as Heir Apparent and The Heir Apparent shall have attained his majority, be of sound mind, and a legitimate son of Muslim parents. Article 60 adds that the Amir, before assuming his powers shall take the following oath at a special sitting of the National Assembly: "I swear by Almighty God to respect the Constitution and the laws of the State, to defend the liberties, interests, and properties of the people, and to safeguard the independence and territorial integrity of the Country."

The present Amir of Kuwait is HH Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, fourth son of the late Sheikh Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

3.2.2. Crown Prince

The Crown Prince is the Heir Apparent to the Amir of the State of Kuwait. According to the Constitution of the State of Kuwait, "The Heir Apparent shall be designated within one year at the latest from the date of the accession of the Amir. His designation shall be affected by an Amiri Order upon the nomination of the Amir and the approval of the National Assembly, which shall be approved by a majority vote of its members in a special sitting." When an Amir dies, the Crown Prince automatically becomes the new Amir who takes oath in front of National Assembly.

Kuwait's current Crown Prince is HH Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. He is the brother of HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah.

Under the Constitution the National Assembly has a limited role in approving the Amir's choice of Crown Prince. If the National Assembly rejects his nominee, the Amir then submits three names, from which the assembly must choose the new Crown Prince. The Amir traditionally has appointed the Crown Prince to be Prime Minister, although this is not mandatory; the Crown Prince appoints the members of the Government.

3.2.3. Deputy Amir

The Article 61 of the Constitution tells that “in the event of his absence outside the Country and the inability of the Heir Apparent to act as Deputy for him, the Amir shall appoint, by an Amiri Order, a Deputy who shall exercise his powers during his absence.” The said Amiri Order may include a specified arrangement for the exercise of the said powers on behalf of the Amir, or a limitation of their scope.

Article 62 adds that The Deputy Amir has to satisfy the qualifications laid down in Article 82 which are: “be a Kuwaiti by origin in accordance with law; be qualified as an elector in accordance with the electoral law; be not less than thirty calendar years of age on the day of election; and be able to read and write Arabic well.” And if he is a Minister or a member of the National Assembly, he may not take part in the ministerial functions or in the work of the Assembly during the period he is acting as Deputy for the Amir.

Article 63 settles that the Deputy Amir, before assuming his powers, shall take the oath mentioned in Article 60 with the following phrase added thereto: “…and be loyal to the Amir." And in case the National Assembly is not in session, the Oath shall be taken before the Amir.

Article 64 shows the incompatibilities of the Deputy Amir by saying that the provisions of Article 131 apply to the Deputy Amir.

4. The Authorities of the State

Article 6 of the Constitution points out that sovereignty resides in the people who are the source of power, and Sovereignty shall be exercised in the manner specified in this Constitution. And Article 50 adds that the system of Government is based on the principle of the separation of powers functioning in co-operation with each other in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and none of these powers may relinquish all or part of its competence specified in this constitution.

In accordance with the provisions 51:53 of Kuwait Constitution, there are three authorities in the State of Kuwait: The Legislative Authority, The Executive Authority and The Judicial Authority.

4.1. The Executive Authority

In accordance with the provisions of the Article 52 of the Constitution, the Executive Authority shall be vested in the Amir, the Cabinet, and the Ministers as specified in this Constitution.

4.1.1. The Amir

The Articles 54:56 of the Constitution make clear that the Amir is the Head of the State. His person shall be inviolable and immune. The Amir exercises his powers through his Ministers. The Amir, after the traditional consultations, appoints the Prime Minister and relieves him of office. The Amir also appoints Ministers and relieves them of office upon the recommendation of the Prime Minister. Functions of the Amir

The Amir has the final say in defense matters, laws and bills. No law can be passed without his consent. It is His Highness, who appoints and dismisses the Prime Minister and his cabinet ministers. The Kuwait Amir represents Kuwait in the Arab League and heads the office of the Head of Kuwaiti delegations in the United Nations. Article 60 of the constitution states that the Amir shall take the oath prior to the discharge of his functions in a special session convened by National Assembly.

Besides executive powers, the Constitution grants the Cabinet authority to declare defensive war, proclaim martial law, and promulgate law decrees when the National Assembly is not in session or its legislative term has expired, grant pardons, and issue executive and administrative regulations according to the (Article 65:69) of Kuwaiti Constitution.

4.1.2. The Cabinet

Executive power in Kuwait is vested in the Cabinet or the Council of Ministers. It is headed by the Prime Minister, a position held traditionally by the Crown Prince. The Prime Minister is appointed through an Amiri Decree. The ministers of the Cabinet are appointed by the Amir on the recommendation of the Prime Minister.

According to the (Article 56) of Kuwaiti constitution, the number of ministers in a Cabinet must not exceed one-third the strength of the National Assembly. This number does not include the Head of the National Guard, the Amiri Diwan Affairs Minister, the Amir’s Advisor and the Chairman of the Audit Bureau. Functions of the Cabinet

The Cabinet controls the state institutions. It is responsible for the general policy of the government and its execution. Each minister in the Cabinet holds one or more portfolios. The Prime Minister and his ministers are accountable to the Amir and the National Assembly. The Prime Minister

By article 56, The Amir, after the traditional consultations, appoints the Prime Minister and relieves him of office. The Amir also appoints Ministers and relieves them of office upon the recommendation of the Prime Minister.

Article 102 highlights the case of No-Confidence in the Prime Minister as it tells that the Prime Minister does not hold any portfolio; nor shall the question of confidence in him be raised before the National Assembly. Nevertheless, if the National Assembly decides, in the manner specified in Article 101, that it cannot co-operate with the Prime Minister, the matter is submitted to the Head of State. In such a case, the Amir may either relieve the Prime Minister of office and appoint a new Cabinet or dissolve the National Assembly and in the event of dissolution, if the new Assembly decides by the abovementioned majority vote that it cannot co-operate with the said Prime Minister, he shall be considered to have resigned as from the date of the decision of the Assembly in this respect, and a new Cabinet shall be formed.

Article 103 shows the Continuation of Government as it settles that the Prime Minister shall continue to discharge the urgent business thereof if he vacates his office for any reason until his successor is appointed. The Ministers

Article 56 shows how ministers are appointed as it says that the Amir also appoints Ministers and relieves them of office upon the recommendation of the Prime Minister. Ministers are appointed from amongst the members of the National Assembly and from others and the number of Ministers in all shall not exceed one-third of the number of the members of the National Assembly.

Article 58 adds that The Prime Minister and the Ministers are collectively responsible to the Amir for the general policy of the State. Every Minister is also individually responsible to the Amir for the affairs of his ministry.

The cabinet mostly includes the following Ministries:

4.1.3. Amiri Diwan

The Amiri Diwan is a major symbol of the sovereign State of Kuwait. The glorious Al-Saif Palace is the permanent headquarters of the Amiri Diwan. The palace has played a great role in the history of Kuwait, both in the distant past and in modern times; due to its long period of existence Kuwait's strategic location was of geographic importance.

Kuwait's trade expanded when Sheikh Mubarak the Great became ruler in 1896. In 1904, Sheikh Mubarak decided to build a palace as his headquarters. A unique location was chosen for the palace on the sea (Al-Saif). Since then, all the rulers of Kuwait have been interested in expanding and developing the Al-Saif Palace to preserve it as part of their history and civilization. The area of the palace was increased, and new buildings were added.

4.1.4. Higher Advisory Councils

There are various higher or supreme advisory councils to assist the government in formulating long-term policies inparticular areas. For example, the Supreme Petroleum Council is responsible for the State’s oil policies, and the Higher Advisory Committee for Labour Affairs advises the Ministry of Social Affairs & Labour on labour issues. The composition of these councils reflects a cross-section of specialists and groups with interests in a particular area. Their members are appointed by the Amir.

4.1.5. The Governorates

The State of Kuwait is divided into many governorates: the Capital, Hawally, Ahmadi, Jahra, Farwaniyah and Mubarak Al-Kabir. Each is headed by a governor, a representative of the Amir, who is supported by a council for the governorate. Governors are usually members of the ruling family or closely allied to it. Membership of the councils is by appointment.

The roles of the governors and their councils are related to social and security aspects. These include “supervising the implementation of state policies, assessing the need for public utilities, responding to the problems of citizens and encouraging cultural and sporting activities.” They act as channels of communication between the centre and the grassroots. They also oversee local security.Each governorate is divided into districts or areas, e.g., Jabriya, Khaldiya, etc. Each district is headed by a mayor or chief (Mukhtar) who is responsible to the Ministry of Interior.

4.1.6. The Municipality

The Kuwait Municipality was established in 1930. There is only one Municipal Council for the entire state. The Council has 16 members, of whom 6 are appointed by the Amir and 10 elected by those eligible to vote in National Assembly elections.

The Municipality is responsible for a variety of functions, including the usual municipal services such as town cleaning and refuse collection, and food and restaurant inspection. It has far-reaching executive powers in commercial licensing, health and safety at work, land acquisition, urban organization and planning and the approval of infrastructural projects. It is responsible for issuing building licenses.

4.2. The Legislative Authority

In accordance with the provisions of the Article 51 of the Constitution, the legislative power is vested in the Amir and the National Assembly in accordance with the Constitution. Also, there are a number of Laws governing the work in this area, such as Law No. 35 of 1962 on the election of members of the National Assembly was amended on May 16, 2005 to allow women to vote in National Assembly elections and run for membership in the assembly. Before the granting of female suffrage, only 130,000 people, or 15 percent of Kuwaiti nationals, had the right to vote (4/1963 Law No. 4 of 1963 determining the emoluments of members of the National Assembly, 12/1963 Rules of Procedure of the Council of the Nation. Also there is Municipal Council, which governs by laws in this area, such as 75/1962 Amiri Decree No. 75 of 1962 on the election of members of the Municipal Council).

4.2.1. The Administrative Structure of National Assembly

The Kuwaiti legislature is a unicameral National Assembly. It has 65 members, including fifty who are elected for four-year terms of office and 15 cabinet ministers appointed by the Emir who sit as ex officio members. Elected officials may also serve in the cabinet, in which case the number of ex officio members is reduced accordingly.

4.2.2. The Functions

The National Assembly debates policies and government programs and passes laws. It is also permitted to question ministers and take a vote of no confidence in individual members of the government. Withdrawal of confidence from a minister takes place by a majority vote of the members constituting the Assembly excluding ministers. The question of confidence in the prime minister may not be raised before the National Assembly. Nevertheless, if the National Assembly decides that it cannot cooperate with the prime minister, the matter is submitted to the Emir. In such a case, the Emir may either relieve the prime minister of office and appoint a new cabinet or dissolve the National Assembly.

4.2.3. Sessions and Dissolution

Regular annual parliamentary sessions are convened for no less than eight months. Every year, the Assembly meets in October at the invitation of the Emir; if the invitation is announced late, the meeting is held on the third Saturday of the month in which it is announced. Sittings of the National Assembly are public, though they may be held in secret upon the request of the government, the president of the Assembly, or ten of its members; and if the meetings are held in other places or times than assigned, their results must be canceled according to the Law. The debate on such a request is held in secret. The National Assembly is called by decree to an extraordinary session if the Emir deems it necessary, or upon the demand of the majority of the members of the Assembly. A quorum of half the members must be present for any session to continue.

The Emir opens the annual session of the National Assembly and delivers a speech reviewing the situation of the country and the important public matters from the preceding year and outlining the projects to be undertaken by the government during the coming year. The National Assembly chooses from among its members a committee to draft the reply to the Emir’s speech, which embodies the comments and wishes of the Assembly. Upon approval of the response by the Assembly, the response is submitted to the Emir.

The constitution empowers the Emir to dissolve the National Assembly by a decree, in which the reasons for dissolution are indicated. However, the dissolution of the Assembly may not be repeated for the same reasons. In the event of dissolution, elections for the new Assembly are held within two months. Otherwise, the dissolved Assembly is restored fully until the new Assembly is elected. The Emir has exercised his power in terms of dissolving the parliament many times since its inception in 1963, the latest on 2009.

4.2.4. General Secretariat

The National Assembly elects a speaker and a deputy speaker from among its members by an absolute majority vote of the members present in the first round or, if necessary, by a relative majority in a second round of voting. The speaker has the powers to convene sessions, establish and modify the agenda, organize the debates and set speaking times, examine the admissibility of bills and amendments, refer texts to a committee for study, set up committees, decide how the vote is carried out, and cancel a vote in the event of irregularities. He can bring items outside the agenda to the floor, and thus organize impromptu debates. He draws up the budget of the Assembly, submits it to the Bureau of the National Assembly, takes part in voting, proposes bills or amendments, and intervenes in parliamentary oversight procedures. He is also consulted by the head of state prior to the appointment of the prime minister and plays a specific role in the conduct of foreign affairs and defense matters, in collaboration with the executive branch.

The Bureau of the National Assembly consists of the speaker, the deputy speaker, the secretary, the chairmen of the Legislative and Legal Affairs Committee and of the Financial and the Economic Affairs Committee.

4.2.5. The Sessions and Procedures

The standing orders of the Assembly procedures, its committees and the rules pertaining to discussion, voting, questions, interpellation, and all other functions are prescribed in the constitution. The standing orders specify the sanctions to be imposed on any member who violates order or absents himself from the meetings of the Assembly or the committees without a legitimate excuse.

According to article 159 of the Rule of Orders, the government draws up an annual draft budget comprising the revenue and expenditure of the state and submits it to the National Assembly for discussion and approval, at least two months before the end of the fiscal year. According to article 171 of the Rule of Orders, The Financial Control Diwan (Audit Bureau) is attached to the National Assembly in line with article 151 of the Constitution and assists the government and the National Assembly in controlling the collection of the state revenues and the disbursement of its expenditures within the limits of the budget. The Diwan submits to both the government and the National Assembly an annual report on its activities and its observations.

4.2.6. The Committee Structures and Membership

The National Assembly sets up committees of inquiry or delegates its members to investigate matters within its competence. Ministers and all government officials must produce testimonials, documents, and statements requested from them. The Assembly also sets up, among its annual standing committees, a special committee to deal with petitions and complaints submitted by citizens.

4.2.7. The Legislative Drafting Process

The constitution stipulates that no law may be promulgated unless the National Assembly passes it. The decisions of the Assembly are only valid when more than half of the members are present. If the National Assembly confirms a bill by a two-thirds majority vote, the Emir promulgates the bill. If the bill does not receive the said majority, it may not be reconsidered during the same session. If the National Assembly, in another session, passes the same bill by a majority vote, the Emir promulgates the bill as law. Promulgation of laws takes place within thirty days from the date of submission by the National Assembly to the Emir. In cases of emergency this period is reduced to seven days. Laws are published in the Official Gazette before they become effective.

The Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs oversees the activities of the parliament on behalf of the executive branch.

The Kuwaiti parliament is a member of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union (AIPU).

4.3. The Judicial Authority

In accordance with the provisions of the Article 53 of the Constitution the judicial power is vested in the Courts, which exercise it in the name of the Amir within the limits of the Constitution. There are a number of Laws governing the Judicial Authority such as:

The official language of the court is Arabic, although other languages are not prohibited. Court proceedings are public unless keeping the peace requires that they be closed, and some Court decisions are made public in the official Gazette. The judiciary is administered by the Judicial Council. The Judicial Authority shall be vested in courts of law as prescribed in the Constitution; and court judgments shall be pronounced in the name of the Amir, according to (Article 164) of the Constitution.

Articles 162:173 of Constitution stipulate that the judicial authority shall be independent, and it shall be vested in courts of different types and grades. The courts shall make their judgments according to the law. The Judges are independent, and they shall not be subject to any power in the exercise of their judicial functions as provided by the law and no interference whatsoever shall be permitted with court proceedings and the course of justice.

The supremacy of law is the base of rule in the State. The honor of the judiciary, its integrity, and impartiality of judges are a safeguard of rights and liberties. And the law shall regulate the categories and divisions of courts and define their jurisdiction and powers. The Court sessions shall be public save when a court decides, for the interest of public order or morality, to hold them in camera. In all cases, the pronouncement of judgments shall be made in an open session.

The Constitution stipulates that Judges are independent and shall not be subject to removal from office save in cases specified by the law, and the independence of the judiciary is inviolable and is protected by law against interference from other authorities. And in the case of other Laws, the judicial authorities and courts of law are of the following kind.

4.3.1. The Judicial Structure and Court System

The judiciary is structured in three levels. At the base of the hierarchy are the Courts of First Instance. These Courts handle civil, commercial, personal status and penal matters separately. Judgments in cases involving misdemeanors punishable by less than three years of imprisonment or fines of less than 250 Kuwaiti dinars cannot be appealed to a higher-level court; commercial and civil judgments involving fines less than 1000 dinars are final. The Courts of Appeal, which sit in panels of three judges, serve as both intermediate and final courts of appeal.

4.3.2. Supreme Court

The Court of Cassation, added to the system in 1990, sits at the apex of the Kuwaiti judiciary and serves as the final court of appeal. Divided into Commercial, Civil, and Criminal Boards, the Court’s judgments are not legally binding on the lower courts, yet they are normally respected.

4.3.3. The Jurisdiction of Constitutionality

According to the provisions of Article 173 of the Constitution, the law shall specify the competent judicial body for settling disputes pertaining to the constitutionality of laws and regulations and define its powers and method of challenging and procedures to be followed before the said body. It shall also specify the consequences of judgment regarding unconstitutionality. The Law No. 14 of 1973 established the Constitutional Court, which has exclusive jurisdiction to interpret the constitutionality of legislation and it is empowered to review electoral contestations. The Court is comprised of five members who are chosen by the Judicial Council by secret election, and one reserve member who is appointed by decree. Although judges of the other courts may be non-Kuwaiti, judges of the Constitutional Court must be Kuwaiti nationals. An important guide to the judiciary in rendering opinions about legislation is the Explanatory Note stating the intentions of the legislature that frequently accompany legislative acts.

4.3.4. The Jurisdiction of Administrative Disputes

According to the provisions of Articles 169:171 of the Constitution, the law shall specify the competent judicial body for settling of Administrative Disputes of laws and regulations and define its powers. In 2008 was established the Supreme Constitutional Court.

4.3.5. The Jurisdiction of Military Tribunals

According to the provisions of Article 164 of the Constitution, the jurisdiction of Military tribunals is restricted, save when martial law is in force, to military crimes committed by staff of the armed and the security forces within the limitations specified by the law.

4.3.6. Special Bodies

There are a number of courts with specialized jurisdictions. Law No. 26 of 1969 established the Court of State Security, which is authorized to try cases related to the internal and external security of the state. The Court is composed of three members who are recommended by the Minister of Justice and authorized by decree. Judgments made by this court cannot be appealed.

4.3.7. Public Prosecution

The Public Prosecution shall conduct public actions in the name of the people, supervise the law enforcement, and ensure the enforcement of criminal laws. The law shall regulate the functions of this body; specify the condition and guarantees pertaining to the staff.

4.4. Human Rights and Cooperation with the International Community

Kuwait Society for Human Rights Working to promote a culture of respect for human rights and promote awareness of the international covenants of human rights, and defense of all individuals whose human rights are violated. In order to protect and promote these rights the Association interested to participate keenly to submit this report with the most important developments in the human rights situation in Kuwait since 2010 to 2014 and demanded a number of reforms in line with international standards of human rights. The report has been prepared in accordance with the following criteria:

Recommendations accepted by the Kuwaiti government during the Universal Periodic Review UPR to Kuwait on May 12, 2010, as well as international obligations to Kuwait in the field of human rights emanating from the ratification of the relevant international conventions.

Kuwait became a party to several agreements in the field of human rights and International Humanitarian Law. The most recent was the convention relating to persons with disabilities under the law No. 35/2013. See A Report on the Situation of Human Rights in the State of Kuwait – submitted to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on the Occasion of the 21st Session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) – prepared by Kuwait Society for Human Rights (Jan.-Feb. 2015).

Children’s Rights: According to the Constitutional Principles in Kuwait, the sections that deal with the Protection of Children and young persons are:

Article no. 10 undertakes the protection of young people from exploitation or any verbal or physical abuse, even spiritual abuse: "The State shall cater for the welfare of young persons, whom it shall protect from exploitation and from moral, physical and spiritual neglect”.: Article 13 provides that “education is an integral part in the advancement of society and the State protects and caters for such”.Article 40 provides that education is compulsory and free in its early stages in accordance to the Law …”

Law no. 21 of 2015 regards to child rights , article 38 provides that Law no. 11 of 1965 on the compulsory education shall rule, if there are not any other provisions in this regard”. The law is divided into nine chapters and has a total of 97 articles that covers childhood from pregnancy until the child turns 18 years old. It is significant to have an overview of the content of the law. Therefore, the nine chapters will be briefly introduced here; afterwards some concepts will be explained in a more specified manner.

Chapter one of the CRL is named “Introductory Provisions” and contains a brief definition of the child as anyone who has not yet turned 18 years of age. Chapter two is called “General Provisions”; it determines the various age groups of childhood, states that a child should be taken care of from birth until the age of 18, and clarifies the process of childbirth, registering the child in the governmental system, details about vaccination and nutrition, gaining a health card, and the rights of pregnant women. Chapter three is explicit for social care of children; it specifies the inevitability of childcare centers in case both parents work, and the significance of the care provided in early childhood. Chapter four focuses on children’s right to education and the necessity to offer solid schooling establishments. Furthermore, chapter five concentrates on the rights of working mothers, as well as the right and regulations for working children between the ages of 15 to 18. Chapter six states the distinct services for children with disabilities. Additionally, chapter seven emphasizes the importance of intellectual development outside of mere schooling in order for children to be enlightened and reach their full individual potential. Chapter eight specifies ways to prevent child traffic mishaps and other kinds of danger that might occur. Finally, chapter nine states the forms of punishment for those who injure children in any way.

As stated in the CRL, a child is considered to be anyone under the age of 18. Children are classified according to the following categories: the first age group is from birth until the age of four. Secondly, from four years of age until the age of seven; this group has the right for their complaints to be heard and investigated. Thirdly, is the age group seven to fifteen years old, which have the legal right to be heard and for their opinions to be taken into consideration. Lastly, is the age group from fifteen years to eighteen years old, which are allowed to work according to the legal regulations of working hours and environment. For more see A Critical Study of The Child Protection Law in Kuwait)

Labor Policies: Kuwait followed the UAE in enforcing a new labor law giving more protection to foreign workers who dominate the private sector in the oil-rich nation.

After months of promising a unified contract for workers in the private sector, Kuwait’s Public Authority for Manpower (MPA) finally put the unified contract into effect in January 2016. This contract aims to limit disputes between employers and workers by guaranteeing a standard for their work relationship and conditions. The 16 clauses of the unified contract are based on an interpretation of the 2010/6 law of labor regulations of the private sector. Seethe Unified Contract for Kuwait’s Private Sector,

Kuwait is a party to several international human rights treaties, including:

5. Focus on Business/Economic Law in Kuwait

5.1. Preface: Economic and Business Laws

Kuwait has the fifth-largest oil reserves in the world. It is the third-largest oil producer in the Arab world, providing considerable wealth to a population of less than 3 million. In 2009, petroleum accounted for 43 percent of gross domestic product and 93 percent of exports. In 2010 the sector generated 83 percent of government revenue.

Kuwait's Performance on the Resource Governance Index: Kuwait ranked 42nd out of 58 countries and received a "weak" score of 41, with particularly poor performance on the Institutional & Legal Setting component.

Kuwait launched in May 2009 its first economic development plan (2010/2011-2013/2014), with total investment around US$107 billion over 4-years, focusing on sectors of transport, utilities (mainly electricity generation and water desalination), industrial special zones, a technology park and a logistics zone. The main objective of the development plan is: to raise the share of the private sector in GDP from the base year (2009) from 37% to 44% by end of the four year of the plan; increase the share of the national labor force from 15.5% to 21%; and to raise the share of R&D from 0.2% to 1.0% within the same period. The Plan hopes to establish at least 150 SMEs and 50 BOT projects and train annually not less than 3000 nationals.

The second development plan (2015/2016-2019/2020) has investment of US$103 billion, of which 30 projects in nine crucial sectors including oil & gas, North Zone Development, electricity & water, Urban Development & Housing, Health, Education, Transport & Communications, Tourism & Media, and Environment.

The second plan targets identified 2013 as base year and included raising the share of the private sector from 26.4% to 41.9%, share of non-oil sector to GDP from 45.1% to 64.0%, share of Kuwaitis in private workforce from 6.8% to 8.2%, and share of R&D from 0.2% to 1.0%.

Kuwait Privatization Program:The KSE began the several year process of privatization by creating a shareholding company in 2014 to be funded with KD 60 million ($ 210 million). The privatization of the KSE has been delayed by years following legal obstacles. A senior CMA official said selling the bourse risked being stymied by a clause in Kuwaiti law forbidding the CMA from carrying out commercial activities, meaning it could not operate the stock market as a company before selling it, forcing it to sell its stake prematurely. Any changes to the law would require passage through Parliament, likely to further delay the privatization process. The government has hired an outside consultant to oversee the KSE privatization process.

Kuwait follows civil legal system with Islamic law mainly significant in personal matters. Kuwait enjoys a transparent and sound legal system with proper separation of legislative, executive, and judicial branches.

There is a host of economic laws which are conducive to the investment climate, of which laws pertaining to new corporate taxes, commercial companies, commercial licenses, encouraging competition, and protecting consumers. Other laws were approved for fostering the role of the private sector in the economy through privatization program and public private partnership (BOT) and opening new areas for private investment like electricity generation & water desalination projects.

Kuwait has always enjoyed an open economy with a thriving merchant class and extensive trade relations even before the oil discovery era. Kuwait continues to practice a relatively liberal trade with open markets for foreign trade and flexible policies. It has no quantitative restrictions on its imports, but prohibits a few products for religious, health, and security reasons. There are no restrictions on capital transfers as Kuwait enjoys a free convertibility and total transferability in its exchange market.

A number of decisions have been taken since then, allowing the opening of the stock market to non-Kuwaitis, the presence of foreign operators in the petrochemical industry and the entry of foreign banks in the country. A law on taxation of foreign companies (which decreased the maximum rate of tax on profits made by foreign companies, with the exception of investment earnings, from 55 to 15%) was adopted in 2008. Although the opening of oil fields in the North to international oil companies seemed to be blocked for years, in late 2014, the Government started discussions with several foreign companies on this issue. Legislation on free zones and BOTs (January 2009) and on creating an independent stock market regulator (January 2010) also contributed to a more favourable environment for international investment, both financial and direct. Despite this, Kuwait ranks 100th out of 189 economies in the 2016 Doing Business report established by the World Bank.

5.2. Legislative Framework of Commercial and Corporate

Commercial law alongside the commercial companies are the main axis of the Business laws in Kuwait. The Commercial Law of Kuwait 68/1980 Decree-Law on Trade law and its amendments, covering all commercial activities like commercial contracts, commercial agency, trademarks, trade names, unfair competition, banking operations, bill of exchange, bankruptcy etc.

A foreigner or a foreign company can do business in the Kuwaiti market mainly by way of establishing a company which could be a Limited Liability Company, Closed Joint Stock Company or a Public Joint Stock Company or entering into joint Venture Agreement which doesn't require any formal procedures Appointing a Local Commercial Agency as Appointing a Commercial Agent who is a Kuwaiti individual.

A new company’s law in Kuwait 25/2012 amended by Law No. 97 of 2013 and Executive Regulations decision 425 of 2013. Law 1 of 2016 for commercial companies was promulgated. offers investors a more attractive investment environment. The law provides more details and clarity than the previous one. Further, it provides guidance in relation to certain matters, as the Nonprofit companies are now permissible under the Companies Law in order to undertake a social role.

Moreover, new forms of companies have been introduced in the Companies Law, such as a sole person company and the professional companies. Professional companies may take the form of a closed shareholding company, limited partnership or a company with limited liability.

Further, the Companies Law also has changed some provisions with respect to holding companies, as under the Companies Law holding companies may take the form of a closed shareholding company, a limited liability company or a sole person company.

With respect to the incorporation procedures of companies, the Law has adopted what is known as the one window system for finalizing the procedures of incorporating companies. Procedures of incorporating companies shall be completed through a special department for this purpose at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, which comprises representatives of the concerned government bodies.

Law No. 25/2012 Promulgating the Companies Law was published in the official on 29 November 2012. Law 1 of 2016 for commercial companies was promulgated and by Law No. 15of 2017 that was issued based on practical experience and in an attempt to resolving the difficulties faced in the enforcement of the law.

5.3. Legislative Framework of Investment

5.3.1. Kuwait Investments Law

The New Investments Law in Kuwait No.8/2001 has been passed for regulating direct investment of foreign capital in the State of Kuwait. Since the law was passed with a view to encourage foreign investment in Kuwait, there are many clauses which actually encourages a foreign investor to invest their capital in the state of Kuwait like the 100% foreign ownership of corporate shares of a company.

A Foreign Capital Investment Committee is set up which is entrusted for recommending to the Minister of Commerce & Industry with regard to the granting of licenses to the foreign investors for practicing the economic activities and enterprises. Furthermore, Article 8 prohibits absolute confiscation or nationalization of any licensed foreign enterprise under the provisions of this law. This provision mandates prompt payment of compensation. The provision of this Law extends to cover the investments currently existing so that the investors could benefit from the new provisions without prejudice to the privileges already obtained by him.

Also, the foreign investor enjoys the priority right to transfer his investment to another foreigner or Kuwaiti national investor, or to assign the enterprise to his foreign partner.

There are benefits and exemptions granted to the foreign investor like tax exemption, avoidance of double taxation, exemption from customs duties, allotment of land and real estate, recruitment of foreign labour etc. upon the approval by the Investment Committee.

5.3.2. The Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA)

The Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) is the oldest sovereign wealth fund in the world. KIA traces its roots to the Kuwait Investment Board, which was established in 1953, eight years before Kuwait's independence in 1961. In 1982, KIA was created by Law No. 47 as an autonomous governmental body responsible for the management of the assets of the country.

Responsibility: KIA does not seek to purchase majority or controlling interests in the companies in which it invests, other than shares in real estate investment entities and in investment holding companies that it establishes for particular transactions. Throughout its history, KIA has been a stable and responsible shareholder and owner. KIA pursues corporate governance activities based on industry best practices and the highest international standards of shareholder responsibility.

5.3.3. Kuwait: Foreign Investment

Kuwait has always been a country open to foreign investment and is further opening to foreign capital. In early 2003, a new law for FDI came into force. It allowed 100% foreign ownership in a number of sectors. This law also made available a number of tax breaks and other benefits to attract new investors, who in return must guarantee a set of quotas regarding the employment of Kuwaiti nationals. A law on foreign investment, enacted in 2013, was implemented in 2015 and a series of other laws related to businesses and public-private partnerships were introduced as well. The country's authorities intend to attract investment to develop infrastructure through the 2015-2020 National Development Plan.

5.3.4. Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority

Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA) was established in accordance with Law No. 116 of 2013 regarding the promotion of direct investment in the State of Kuwait as a specialized public authority with financial and administrative independence. H.E. Minister of Commerce & Industry is the Chairman of its Board of Directors. KDIPA is one of the economic implementing arms of the country performing developmental, promotional, regulatory, and advocacy roles.

KDIPA Law & Executive Regulations: Law No. 116 of 2013 for the Promotion of Direct Investment in the State of Kuwait. Executive Regulations Implementing Law No. 116 of 2013 Regarding the Promotion of Direct Investment in the State of Kuwait.

Related Decisions: DG Decision No. 16 of 2016 on the Mechanism for Granting Tax Exemption that entered into effect from the date of its issuance on January 12, 2016.

Council of Ministers Decision No. (75) of 2015 Regarding the List of Excluded Direct Investments from the Provisions of Law No. (116) of 2013 regarding the Promotion of Direct Investment in the State of Kuwait.

Director General Decision No. 35 of 2014 dated December 2014 Regarding the principles and rules and procedures for the licensing of branches and representative offices of foreign companies in Kuwait.

Ministerial Decision No. 503 for 2014 dated December 2014 for Approved Service Fees rendered by KDIPA.

Ministerial Decision No. 502 for 2014 dated December 2014 for Issuance of Executive Regulations.

5.4. Legislative Framework of Banking

5.4.1. The Central Bank of Kuwait

The Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) was established by virtue of the Law No. 32 of 1968 concerning currency, the Central Bank of Kuwait and the Organization of Banking Business. CBK replaced the Kuwaiti Currency Board established by virtue of the Amiri Decree No. 41 of 1960. The role of the Kuwaiti Currency Board was limited to the issuance of banknotes and coins, unlike central banks' broad responsibilities ranging from setting and implementing monetary policies to the regulation and supervision of banking activities. CBK's establishment, hence, was in response of the need to keeping pace with domestic and international developments, particularly in view of the increasingly important role of the monetary and financial policy contributing to the advancement of social and economic development in the country.

The Central Bank of Kuwait commenced operation on the 1st of April 1969, in fulfillment of the following core objectives stated in Article 15 of its Law No. 32 of 1968:

The paid-up capital of the Central Bank of Kuwait shall be five million Kuwaiti Dinars, fully paid up by the government. This capital may be increased by a decree, and such increase shall be withdrawn from the General Reserve of the CBK.

The Central Bank of Kuwait is managed by a Board of Directors encompassing the Governor of CBK - chairman, and the Deputy Governor of CBK, both appointed by a decree for a five-year renewable term. The Board of Directors also comprises of a representative of the Ministry of Finance, a representative of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and four other members with proven experience in the economic, financial and banking affairs, appointed by a decree for a three-year renewable term.

5.4.2. Kuwait and Money Laundering

Article (16) of Law No. (106) for the year 2013 concerning Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism to establish A Unit called the "Kuwait Financial Intelligence Unit". It shall be an independent legal person and serve as the agency responsible for receiving, requesting, analyzing, and disseminating information concerning suspected proceeds of crime or funds related, linked to or to be used for money laundering or terrorism financing according to the provisions of this Law.

5.4.3. Kuwait Financial Intelligence Unit

Article (16) of Law No. (106) for the year 2013 concerning Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism to establish A Unit called the "Kuwait Financial Intelligence Unit". It shall be an independent legal person and serve as the agency responsible for receiving, requesting, analyzing, and disseminating information concerning suspected proceeds of crime or funds related, linked to or to be used for money laundering or terrorism financing according to the provisions of this Law.

5.5. Legislative Framework of Stock Exchange

The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) was established according to Law No. 7/2010 which was passed by the Kuwaiti parliament in February 2010. According to the Law; the CMA shall regulate and supervise the securities' activities and realize the principles of transparency, fairness, and competency. It also observes the implementation of the principles of Corporate Governance by the listed companies and protects the investors against the unfair practices and law-violating acts.

The CMA is committed to setting supervisory and controlling regulations which support an attractive and competitive investment environment in the State of Kuwait; based on the Principles of fairness, transparency, and integrity according to the best international practices.

5.5.1. CMA Objectives

The Capital Markets Authority aims to:

5.5.2. Capital Markets Authority Law

Law No. 7 of 2010 Regarding the Establishment of the Capital Markets Authority and Regulating Securities Activities and its Amendments are online.

5.6. ADR in Kuwait

The most common form of ADR in Kuwait is, like its UAE counterpart, arbitration. Arbitration in Kuwait is regulated by the Civil and Commercial Procedure Code, which addresses the validity of each aspect of arbitration, including the enforcement of foreign awards.

Both arbitration and mediation in Kuwait fall within the jurisdiction of the Kuwait Mediation and International Arbitration Chamber.

5.7. Laws, Studies and Reports Related to Business Laws

6. Control and Compliance of Public Funds in Kuwait

Many agencies in the State of Kuwait are working on the Safeguarding Public Funds by Legislative framework of public procurement and concessions. One of the most important bodies is the Bureau of Safeguarding Public Funds, which along with the National Assembly plays an Important role in controlling and compliance of Safeguarding Public Funds in the State of Kuwait.

6.1. The Central Tenders Committee (CTC)

The Central Tenders Committee, an independent government agency attached to the Council of Ministers, is the government authority responsible for prequalifying firms, issuing government tenders and awarding contracts. Tendering procedures executed by this committee are regulated by law number 37/1964 amended by Law No. 18/1970 and Law No. 81/1977. Law number 81/1977 authorizes government bodies to independently import commodities and/or commission the execution of works directly, or by way of tenders, and not through the CTC, if the value of the contract is not in excess of KD 5,000. However, such contracts shall not be concluded to cover the same commodities or works more than once in one calendar month.

6.2. The Audit Bureau

6.2.1. The Role of the Audit Bureau

The Constitution of the State of Kuwait, which was issued on November 11, 1962, clearly provided for the establishment of a commission for financial control in which its independence shall be safe guarded by the law. Believing that public funds, that form the States nerve and its cornerstone for prosperity, should be safe guarded to insure full collection of revenues, avoid any loss, or negligence and expend these revenues for the welfare of the society without extravagance or unreasonable economizing.

On July 7th, 1964 Law No. 30 for the year 1964 was issued, establishing the Audit Bureau in the State of Kuwait. Its first Article provides: “There shall be established an independent commission for financial control which shall be called the Audit Bureau and shall be attached to the National Assembly.”

Objectives: The main objective of SAB is to maintain an effective control over the public funds to safeguard them, prevent any misuse, and verify their proper utilization for the purposes they have been allocated for.

Through performance of its control activity, SAB has concentrated on the creation of a full conviction over the audited bodies. That is SAB is not looking for errors or deviations; instead, it aims primarily at the maintenance of public interests by safeguarding public funds and efficiently utilizing them for the aspects they have been allocated for. SAB has been able, through its constant cooperation and understanding and through communication with other authorities, to organize their financial and accounting transactions and devise the suitable solutions in order to reach the exemplary objective.

Independence: The independence of the SAB is supported by the provisions related to the head, the key official, personnel affairs, and the budget of the SAB. Moreover, the unlimited period of service of had given the SAB continuity of the fruitful leadership which is rarely available for the executive authorities of the State. This independence of SAB is represented in the following:

Dependence: The SAB is considered as an independent authority, even though it is subordinated to the National Assembly. This subordination is restricted to the limits of supervision and assistance, particularly in the field of control of the public fund. The aspects of this control are represented in the provisions included in the articles of association of the SAB. These provisions state that in the absence of the parliamentary life the SAB will be temporarily subordinated to the Council of Ministers till the resumption of the parliamentary life in order to eliminate the idea that that may be believed (contrary to reality) that the functions of the SAB will be considered ceased in the absence of the parliamentary life.

6.2.2. The Relationship between SAB and the National Assembly

The SAB is an independent institution attached to the National Assembly. Its financial control exercised on public funds is considered part of the control exercised by the National Assembly on the Executive Authority.

The president of SAB submits to the National Assembly, no later than the end of the month of October each year, an annual report on the accounts of the previous financial year of the State, Authorities, and Public Establishments budgets that are regulated by law. This report discusses the findings and contradictions of opinions that may arise between SAB and the bodies subject to its financial control.

6.2.3. The Relationship between SAB and the Ministry of Finance

According to the Legislative Decree No.31 for the year 1978 pertaining to the rules of the preparation of public budgets and control over its execution and the final accounts, the Ministry of Finance is the only direction responsible for definition of the form of public budgets and final accounts for the State and other attached and independent bodies. Furthermore, the ministry issues circulation regarding the execution of the budgets. Consequently, SAB has a close connection with the ministry, which is maintained through cooperation and coordination in order to secure the proper implementation of the financial instruction by those bodies subject to control and provide suitable solutions for the problems that may face these bodies during implementation. In addition, SAB participates with the ministry in the various committees that are formed now and then to discuss and develop financial legislation whenever it is found feasible and impending.

6.2.4. The Relationship between SAB and the Legal Advice and Legislation Department

The president of the Legal Advice and Legislation Department is a member in the Supreme Committee formed and presided over by the president of the Audit Bureau. This committee is concerned with the personnel affairs of the staff of SAB. It is empowered by authorities’ regulations by law and by-laws issued by both the Council of Ministries and the Civil Servants of the State.

6.2.5. International Relationships

The Audit Bureau is a member of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI), The Asian Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (ASOSAI), where it participated in the Governing Board, and the Arab Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (ARABOSAI), where it participated in its Executive Board until 1995 and still a member in the Prominent Committee for Training and Scientific Research.

To reinforce the cooperation between SAB and the other Arab, regional, and international SAIs, few of the high officials visited other SAIs to be acquainted with their rules of procedures and to exchange the knowledge and the skills where goals can be achieved.

Regarding the Government Sector, SAB's auditing includes:

In regard to public establishments and companies, SAB's auditing includes:

6.3. Transparency

The Kuwait is interested in Transparency. Kuwait was ranked sixth in the Linaburg-Maduell Transparency Index..

International Transparency Standards: In 2015, Kuwait became the 130th member of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. (See The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

7. University Education and Research

History of Education: Kuwait is one of the high income countries with a GDP per capita of above $24,000. In Kuwait, between 1975 and 1985, the public sector increased its absorption of nationals from 76 percent to 92 percent of all employees. The government of Kuwait is now looking for alternative sources for generating income. Therefore, the government is trying to diversify and improve skills of the labor force; hence education reform at all levels has now been given high priority. At the beginning of the 20th century there was no formal educational system in place in Kuwait. There were few Quranic schools known as Al-Katatib, funded by the wealthy private citizens of Kuwait that taught reading, writing and some basic mathematics. In 1912, the Al Mubarakiyya School was established as one of Kuwait’s modern educational institutions. It was founded by the merchants to train their clerks in commerce, mathematics and letter writing skills. In 1921, Al-Ahmedia school was established that offered English courses, and soon thereafter all girls’ schools were founded to provide Arabic education, home economics and Islamic Studies. The government got involved in providing formal education in 1936 and by 1945 there were 17 schools. With the increase in oil production and hence state revenues after World War II, the government began investing huge sums of money into social services including education. By 1960, there were 45,000 students enrolled in Kuwait's educational system including 18,000 girls. In the year 1965, following the constitution that made education a fundamental right of a citizen, education was made compulsory for ages 6–14. Since the early 21st century, the Ministry of Education has sought to prepare a long-term General Education Strategy focusing on educational teaching for the years 2005-2025. This effort aims to align teaching methodologies with the current needs of the increasingly globalized world. The World Bank is conducting an analytical study to explore the various policy options to implement this new strategy. A National Conference for the Development of Education was held in Kuwait in February 2008 to further discuss the national strategy. Other multilateral organizations such as the OECD are working towards improving business environment and providing training to women to promote women’s entrepreneurship within the country.

There are a number of Laws governing the work in education area, such as: Decree Law No. 11 of 1965 concerning compulsory education, Law No. 29 of 1966 concerning the regulation of higher education, Decree Law No. 4 of 1981 concerning the literacy, Law No. 63 of 1982 in establishing the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training.

Demographics: The population of Kuwait has grown rapidly in the past few years; it has more than doubled during the period between 1985 and 2005. The school-aged population of both Kuwaitis and non-Kuwaitis is 24 percent of the total population in 2005. There were 716,000 people of school age (from 4 to 21 years old) of which 426,000 were Kuwaitis (60 percent) and about 290,000, non–Kuwaitis. Also, there are more males than females in each age group of school age population. The proportion of non-Kuwaitis is slightly higher among the 18-21-year olds. In 2007, the primary and secondary female enrollment was 97 and 91 percent respectively; as for males, it was 99 and 90 percent. As for the mix with the expatriates, Kuwaitis make up half of the country’s population. At the same time the burgeoning young population is posing a burden on the job market, with rising unemployment numbers. The government is now making efforts in creating more job opportunities in the private sector for the new entrants. About 95 percent of the Kuwaitis who are employed by the state are now moved to private sectors so as to increase job opportunities for the new entrants.

For last Report and Bulletins about: wholesale price index numbers, Consumer Price Index Number, Foreign Trade Indices, Annual Statistical Bulletin Of environment , Annual Statistical Bulletin Of Transport , National accounts Statistics ,Foreign Trade Statistics, , Educational Statistics , Producer Price Index Numbers , Statistical publication plan of the Kuwait Central Statistical Bureau , Annual Bulletin For Vital Statistics - Marriage and Divorce , The statistics role in documenting the humanitarian and social work. Visit Central Statistical Bureau.

7.1. Higher Education

There are some state supported higher education institutions in Kuwait, such as Kuwait University, The College of Basic Education in PAAET, Higher Institute for Theater Arts, Higher Institute of Music Arts. Kuwait University: Kuwait University was established in 1966. It is a co-educational institution and comprises five campuses in the Kuwait City. Since its inception the number of students has increased considerably, from 400 to 19,711 in 2005/06 students and has included a wide range of academic courses.

Public Authority for Applied Educational Training: This institution was established in 1982 to fill the need for a vocational and technical training institution. PAAET is comprised of two entities: PAAET is responsible for providing and developing skills of the national labor force to meet the demands of a developing nation. Secondly, it also provides training to students to have careers beyond the oil industry. The College of Basic Education in PAAET has an enrollment of 7,132, and an increase of 26 percent from the previous year.

The Higher Institutes for Theatre Arts and Music Arts with enrollment of 465 have seen a decline of 25 percent in 2005/06. In the academic year 2005/06, the total enrollment within the public institutions reached 27,308, and an increase of 7 percent from previous year. The proportion of females in public institutions in the undergraduate studies is 70 percent.

The gross enrollment ratio in tertiary education in both private and public institutions in 2006 was about 18 percent; the male gross enrollment ratio was 11 percent, a slight increase from previous year, and for females it was 26 percent, a three-percentage point decrease from last year, in 2006.

Also, there are a number of post-secondary institutions in Kuwait that are approved by the Ministry of Higher Education such as Gulf University for Science and Technology, Arab Open University, Australian College in Kuwait, American University in Kuwait, Gulf American College, Kuwait-Maastricht Business School, and Box-Hill College Kuwait.

The largest private institution for undergraduate studies is the Arab Open University with 6294 students in 2005/06, which makes nearly 60 percent of all private undergraduate students. Kuwaiti students make up 53 percent of all undergraduate enrollments in private institutions.

7.1.1. Other Institutes

In Kuwait there are also religious institutes, which offer a program of general education at the intermediate and secondary levels, along with enhanced Islamic and religious studies. There were 1,026 students in the 7 religious centers in 2005/06, of which 75 percent were Kuwaiti nationals.

Ministry of Education in Kuwait is making efforts to provide equal educational opportunities by opening special needs institutes. In total there are 44 special needs schools out of which 33 are public schools and 11 are private schools. Some of the special needs children are also enrolled in special needs classes offered in general schools.

8. Quick Links Research

8.1. Legal Links

Legal Information Network of Gulf-Kuwait link contains the following laws in Arabic:

Judicial Affairs (Organization of the Judiciary-Constitutional Court-Arguments)

Commercial Activities (Trade-Companies-Central Bank-The Debts)

Criminal Law and Relevant Laws (Criminal – Criminal Procedure – Events – Public Money – Weapons)

Civil Law and Personal Status (Civil – Personal Status Minors Affairs)

Civil Service and Pensions (Service Code – Decree of Service – Insurance and Pensions – Civil Service Council)

Municipal Affairs (Kuwait Municipality – Governorates)

Work and Self-Employment (Work in the Private Sector – Bar Association – Doctors – Engineers – Unions)

Education and Universities (Education Act – Higher Education – Universities)

Economic Activities (Agriculture – Industry – Tourism – Communications)

Military Institutions (Armed Forces – Police – Department of Investigation)

Public bodies (Youth and Sports – Agriculture and Fisheries – Civil Information)

International Conventions

8.2. Government Links

Ministries and Government Bodies

State Organizations and Authorities

Independent Government Establishments

Other Agencies

· Kuwait Labor Law

Education, Studies and Research Links (Universities, Private Institution& International Associations)

8.3. Finance and Economy Links

8.4. Authorities and Institutions

8.5. Additional Links

News Agencies, Newspapers and Magazines