UPDATE: Qatar’s Legal System Governance and Business

Dr. Khedr is a faculty member and Adviser of Corporate Affairs. He holds LLB, BA of Police Science, LLM in International Commerce and PhD 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.

Dr Khedr is the founding member and former program director of the Faculty of Law, Taibah University, the first law school in Saudi Arabia, and former founding director of the Legal Training Center at the British University in Egypt in Egypt (BUE) . Ahmed 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 leading 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 May/June 2020

(Previously updated in October 2013 and in September 2016)

See the Archive Version!

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

1.1. Location and Population

Qatar is a peninsula located halfway down the west coast of the Arabian Gulf. Its territory comprised of several islands including Halul, Sheraouh, Al-Ashat and others. It has maritime and land borders with Saudi Arabia and maritime boundaries with Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Iran. The total land area of Qatar is approximately about 11,500 square kilometers. The terrain is flat and rocky with some low-rising limestone outcrops in Dukhan area in the west and Jabal Fiwairit in the north. It is characterized by a variety of geographical phenomena including many coves, inlets, depressions and surface rainwater-draining basins known as riyadh (the gardens), which are found mainly in the north and central part of the peninsula. These areas have the most fertile soil and are rich in vegetation.

The population of Qatar is 2,559,267 (1,936,536 males & 622,731 females) according to the Qatar Statistics Authority, which released its monthly preliminary figures on population as of 30 April, 2016. This data represents the number of persons all ages (Qataris and Non-Qataris) within the boundaries of the State of Qatar as of 30 April 2016. Moreover, it does not include Qatari nationals who were outside the State boundaries on April 30, 2016. Non-Qataris with residency permits who were outside the states boundaries on April 30, 2016. (For more information and update, see Qatar Planning and Statistics Authority)

The major cities are Doha, Al Wakrah, Al Khor, Dukhan, Al Shamal, Mesaieed, Ras Lafan and others. Doha is the capital city, the seat of government and the location of the main commercial and financial institutions. Situated halfway along the east coast of the peninsula, the city is an important cultural and commercial center with a vast commercial seaport and a modern international airport that link the country to the rest of the world. The majority of the population lives in Doha and its main suburb Al-Rayyan.

In accordance with the provisions of the second Article of the Constitution, the capital of the state is Doha and it may be transferred to any other place by a law.

1.2. Qatar Religion and Language

Qatar is an independent Arab State. Islam is the official religion of the country and Arabic is the official language in Qatar, and English is widely spoken. In accordance with the provisions of the first Article of the Constitution, “Qatar is an independent sovereign Arab State and the people of Qatar are a part of the Arab nation. Its religion is Islam.”

1.3. History of Qatar

1.3.1. The Ancient History

The land of Qatar was populated as early as 4000 BC, as shown by archaeological discoveries that were found in scattered areas across the country. In the 5th century BC the Greek historian Herodotus referred to the seafaring Canaanites as the original inhabitants of Qatar. Further, the geographer Ptolemy showed in his map of the Arab World "Qatara" as believed to refer to the Qatari town of "Zubara", which had acquired fame by being one of the most important trading ports in the Gulf region at the time.

Qatar played an important role in Islamic civilization when its inhabitants participated in the formation and provision of the first naval fleet, which assembled to transport the army during the Islamic conquests. Under the Abbasid State during the 8th century AH (the 14th century AD), Qatar experienced great economic prosperity, as can be gleaned from the inscriptions on the Murwab Fort on the western coast of the peninsula, which bears the marks of the Abbasid architectural style.

During the 16th century AD, the Qataris aligned with the Turks to drive out the Portuguese. Subsequently, Qatar, alongside the whole of the Arabian Peninsula, came under the Ottoman Empire rule for about four centuries. In the aftermath of the World War I, Turkish rule in Qatar ended and Qatar signed a protection treaty with Britain in 1916. However, the British influence in the country was limited to supervision of some administrative matters.

1.3.2. The Modern History and Independence

The State of Qatar became an independent country on September 3 1971, by treaty of friendship between the state of Qatar and United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The rule of the State of Qatar is hereditary in the family of Al Thani, who settled in Qatar peninsula early in the 18th century. Qatar was ruled by the Al-Thani family, who take their name from their ancestor, Thani, father of Skeikh Mohammad Bin Thani, who was the first Sheikh to rule over the Qatari peninsula during the mid-19th century. The Al-Thani family was one among many tribal groups that settled for a long time at the Gibrin oasis in the southern Najd, before their arrival at Qatar during the early 18th century. It is a branch of the Bani Tamim tribe, whose descent can be traced back to Mudar Bin Nizar. Initially they settled in Zubara in the north of the peninsula, moving to Doha in the mid-19th century under the leadership of Sheikh Mohammad Bin Thani.

1.3.3. Timeline

In 1878 Sheikh Jassim Bin Mohammad succeeded his father Sheikh Mohammad bin Thani. In 1913 Sheikh Abdallah bin Jassim came to power. It was in his time when oil was first discovered in Qatar. In 1940 Sheikh Hamad Bin Abdullah ruled Qatar until 1948. In 1949 Sheikh Ali bin Abdallah came to power and ruled until 1960. And in that year, Sheikh Ahmad Bin Ali ruled Qatar and his reign continued until 1972. On September 3rd, 1971 Qatar became independent. In 1972, Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani ruled the country. In 1995 Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani assumed power with the support and blessings of the ruling family and the Qatari people.

In 1999 the election of the municipal council was the first electoral process taking place in Qatar in modern history. According to the Law (12) for the year of 1998 it took place the organization of the Central Municipal Council.

Holidays: Qataris celebrate the standard Islamic holidays, including Ramadan and the two Ids, ʿId Al- Fitr and ʿĪd Al-Adha. They also celebrate several secular holidays, such as Independence Day and the anniversary of the emir’s ascension to power.

2. The Qatar Legal System

Shari’a (Islamic law) is the main source of legislations. The first Article of the Permanent Constitution of Qatar states, “Qatar is an independent sovereign Arab State and the people of Qatar 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”.

2.1. The Basic System

2.1.1. Issuance and Amendment of the Constitution

On 19th April 1971, the drafting committee of the Permanent Constitution issued the Constitution Provisional Amended Basic Statute that defined the system of rule in the State, organized its authorities and established the fundamental principles of its policy. The H.H. Emir decree (No.11) of the year 1999 issued for the preparation of a committee for the new Constitution. The H.H. Emir was keen on finding committee members that were men of intellect, opinion and expertise. The H.H. Emir directed the committee towards the establishment of a modern state by enhancing the role of Shari’a, democracy and the popular participation of the citizenry in decision making.

After a 3-year period was set for the preparation of the Constitution, the voters agreed to the new Constitution of the country on Tuesday 29th April 2004 by expressing their opinions at the ballot boxes. The new Constitution underlined the main outlines of the Constitution that would be a signpost to the building and defining of the system of the rule and determining the State’s authorities and their specializations, and their relations to each other and the citizens.

2.1.2. Amendment of Constitution

By Article 144 of the Permanent Constitution, the Emir or one third of the Members of the Shoura Council each shall have the prerogative to apply for the amendment of one or more of the articles of the Constitution. If a majority of the members of the Council accept the amendment in principle, the Council may discuss it article by article. The amendment shall be passed by a two-thirds majority of the members of the Council. The said amendment shall not enter into force before the approval of the Emir and its publication in the official Gazette. If, on the other hand, the proposal for amendment 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 Articles (145:149) of the Permanent Constitution add that the provisions pertaining to the rule of the state and its inheritance thereof may not be subject to application for amendment. Provisions pertaining to rights and public liberties may not be subject to amendment save for the purpose of granting more rights and guarantees in the interests of the citizens.

Furthermore, the functions of the Emir set forth in this Constitution may not be subject to an application for amendment during the term of his deputation. The Article 148 of the Constitution makes clear that no article of this Constitution may be proposed for amendment before the lapse of a period of ten years from the date of its coming into force. And Article 149 adds that 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 convening of the session of the Shoura Council may not be suspended nor should the immunity of its Members be violated during this period.

2.2. The Values of Justice and of Issuance of Laws

Article 35 of the Constitution clearly states that all persons are equal before the law and there shall be no discrimination whatsoever on grounds of sex, race, language, or religion.

The relationship between national and international law is dualistic in the Qatari legal system, and treaties, including conventions, are not self-executing and have to be implemented into Qatari legislation (art. 6 of the Constitution). Qatar is a hereditary constitutional monarchy. With the Constitution of 2003, Qatar adopted the principle of separation of powers Article 60. The legislative authority is vested in the Shura Council in accordance with the Constitution, and the Executive power is vested in the Emir, assisted by the Council of Ministers. Courts are divided into criminal and civil courts, at two levels. A Supreme Council supervises the proper functioning of courts of law and their auxiliary organs. The judicial system also includes the Constitutional Court.

The Constitution confirms the established principles of law; for example, in addition to Article 35 discussed above, Article 39 points out that an accused person is presumed innocent until his conviction is proved before a court of law wherein the necessary guarantees of the right of self-defense are secured. Article 40 of the Constitution adds that “no crime and no punishment save as prescribed by the law and no penalties save on the acts committed subsequent to the enforcement of that law.” The provisions of the laws shall have no effect save on the acts committed from the date of the enforcement of the said laws. These provisions shall have no effect on the acts which occurred prior to the enforcement of the said laws; however, it may be stipulated otherwise by a majority of two-thirds of the Shoura Council in case of non-criminal provisions.

Issuance of Laws: The first Article of the Permanent Constitution of the State of Qatar points out that Shari’a law (Islamic Religious Law) shall be a main source for its legislations. Its political system is democratic.

Articles 105 and 106 of the Permanent Constitution clearly state that every member of the Council shall have the right to propose bills. Every proposal shall be referred to the relevant committee in the Council for study, making recommendation and submission to the Council. If the Council accepts the proposal, it shall be referred in draft form to the Government for study and opinion. Such a draft shall be returned to the Council during the same or the following term of session. Also, any bill rejected by the Council may not be re-introduced during the same term of session.

Any draft law passed by the Council shall be referred to the Emir for ratification. If the Emir declines to approve the draft law, he shall return it along with the reasons for such declination to the Council within a period of three months from the date of referral. In the event that a draft law is returned to the Council within the period specified in the preceding paragraph and the Council passes the same once more with a two-thirds majority of all its members, the Emir shall ratify and promulgate it. The Emir may, in compelling circumstances order the suspension of this law for the period that he deems necessary to serve the higher interests of the country. If, however, the draft law is not passed by a two-thirds majority, it shall not be reconsidered within the same term of session.

The Emir may, in the event of exceptional cases that require measures of utmost urgency which necessitate the issue of special laws and in case that the Shoura Council is not in session, issue pertinent decrees that have the power of law by the use of Article 70 of the Constitution. Such decree-laws shall be submitted to the Shoura Council at its first meeting, and the Council may within a maximum period of fourteen days from the date of submission and with a two-thirds majority of its Members reject any of these decree-laws or request amendment thereof to be effected within a specified period of time. Such decree-laws shall cease to have the power of law from the date of their rejection by the Council or when the period for effecting the amendments has expired.

Official Gazette: The power of law starts after publication in the official Gazette. The Qatar Gazette is issued in the Department of Opinion & Contracts/Ministry of Justice.

Different legislations are issued in Qatar laws in many different areas; for example, there is civil legislation )15/1980), law on the issuance of maritime law (22/2004 Civil Code), penal legislation (11/2004 Penal Code, 23/2004 Code of Criminal Procedure, 3/2004 Law on Combating Terrorism, 9/1987 Law in the Fight Against Narcotic Drugs), economic legislation (14/1995), Law on the establishment of the Doha Securities Market (2/1999) law in the fight against fraud in commercial transactions, (13/2000) Law on the organization of foreign capital in economic activity, (5/2002) Law of Commercial Companies, (28/2002) Law on Anti-Money Laundering, (5/2005) Law on the Protection of Trade Secrets, (7/2005) Law of the QFC) passports Legislation and policy, communications Legislation, committees and associations of private and public, Legislation, ministries, bodies and institutions, Property and real estate legislation ,Security legislation, protection and civil defense, Legislation, science and technology , legislation, culture, art and literature, Legislation, Youth and Sports, Educational legislation, Family legislation and social security, legislation on citizenship and other legislation ([1]).

2.3. Conclusion of Treaties and Agreements

The Article 68 of the Permanent Constitution gives to the Emir the power toconclude treaties and agreements by a decree and refer them to the Shoura Council accompanied with appropriate explanatory notes. The treaty or agreement shall have the power of law after ratification and publication in the Official Gazette; however, reconciliation treaties and treaties pertaining to the territory of the State or those relating to the right of sovereignty or public or private rights of the citizens, or those that involve an amendment of the laws of the State 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. Head of State

The system of government in the State of Qatar is hereditary in the family of Al Thani and in the line of the male descendants of Hamad bin Khalifa bin Hamad bin Abdullah bin Qassim. The Permanent Constitution of the State of Qatar and Law 15/2006 on the Rule of Law on the State and Inheritance Governance comprises the work and system of Governance.

The rule is inherited by the son named as Heir Apparent by the Emir after consultation with members of the Ruling Family and the people of wisdom in the State. In case there is no such son, the prerogatives of rule are passed to the member of the family named by the Emir as Heir Apparent. In this case, his male descendants shall inherit the rule.

3.1. The H.H. Emir

The Article 8 of permanent constitution of the state of Qatar makes clear that the rule of the State is hereditary in the family of Al Thani and in the line of the male descendants of Hamad Bin Khalifa Bin Hamad Bin Abdullah Bin Jassim. The rule shall be inherited by the son named as Heir Apparent by the Emir. In the case that there is no such son, the prerogatives of rule shall pass to the member of the family named by the Emir as Heir Apparent. In this case, his male descendants shall inherit the rule. The provisions of the rule of the State and accession shall be determined by a special law that shall be issued within a year commencing as from the date of coming into force of this Constitution. This law shall have the power of the Constitution. Article 74 of the constitution adds that the Emir shall take the oath prior to the discharge of his functions in a special session convened by the Shoura Council.

3.1.1. Heir Apparent

The Article 9 of Permanent Constitution of the state of Qatar states that the Emir shall, by an Emir Order, appoint an Heir Apparent after consultation with the members of the Ruling Family and the people of wisdom in the State. The Heir Apparent must be a Muslim of a Qatari Muslim Mother.

The Articles 10:12 of the Constitution point out that the Heir Apparent, on his appointment, shall take the following oath: “I swear by Almighty God to respect Shari’a law, the Constitution and the law, maintain the independence of the State and safeguard its territorial integrity, defend the freedom and interests of its people, and be loyal to the State and the Emir.” The Heir Apparent shall assume the powers and discharge the functions of the Emir on his behalf during his absence outside the country, or in the event of temporary compelling circumstances. The Emir may, by an Emir Order, confer upon the Heir Apparent the exercise of some of his powers and the discharge of some of his functions. The Heir Apparent shall preside over the sessions of the Council of Ministers whenever he is in attendance.

3.2. Deputy Emir

By the Article 13 of the Constitution, the Emir, where it is not possible to delegate powers to the Heir Apparent, may, by an Emir Order, designate a deputy from the ruling family to discharge some of his powers and functions, and where the person who has been so designated holds a post or performs a function in any institution, the same person shall cease to discharge the duties of that post or function during his deputation of the Emir. The Deputy Emir shall, as soon as he is so designated, take, before the Emir, the same oath as taken by the Heir Apparent.

3.3. The Council of the Ruling Family

Articles 14:15 of the Constitution state that “there shall be established a Council by an Emir Resolution named ‘The Council of the Ruling Family’.” The Emir shall appoint the members of such Council from amongst the members of the ruling family. The Council of the Ruling Family shall fill the vacancy of the position of the Emir in the event of his demise or when he becomes totally incapacitated to discharge his functions. Following this, the Council of Ministers and the Shoura Council shall. after a secret joint session, announce the appointment and declare the Heir Apparent as the Emir of the State.

3.4. The Regency Council

In accordance with the provisions of Article 16 of the Constitution, the reins of Government shall be conferred upon a Regency Council to be appointed by the Council of the ruling family if the Heir Apparent, at the time he is named Emir of the State, is less than 18 years of age according to the Gregorian calendar. The Regency Council shall be composed of a chairman and not less than three or more than five members; and the chairman and the majority of members shall be from amongst the Ruling Family.

The Emiri Decree No. 3 of 2016 establishing the Council of Family Affairs was issued to abolish Emiri Decree No. 1 of 2000

4. The Authorities of the State

Article 59 of the Constitution states that the people are the source of power, and they shall exercise the same in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. Article 60 adds that the system of Government is based on the separation of powers and shall be exercised in collaboration with the manner specified in this Constitution. In accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, there are three authorities in the State of Qatar: The Legislative Authority, The Executive Authority and The Judicial Authority.

4.1. The Executive Authority

In accordance with the provisions of Article 61 of the Constitution, the Executive Authority shall be vested in the Emir and he shall be assisted by the Council of Ministers as specified in the Constitution.

4.1.1. The Emir

Articles 64:66 of the Constitution make clear that the Emir is the Head of State. His person shall be inviolable, and he must be respected by all. The Emir is the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. He shall supervise the same with the assistance of the Defense Council, which is set under his direct authority. The Emir shall represent the State internally and externally and in all international relations. Functions of the Emir

The Article 67 of the Constitution points out that the Emir shall discharge the following functions:

The Emir shall take the following oath prior to the discharge of his functions in a special session convened by The Shoura Council: “I swear by Almighty God to respect Shari’a law, the Constitution and the law, protect the independence of the State, safeguard its territorial integrity, and defend the freedom and interests of its people,” in accordance of the provisions of Article 74 of the Constitution.

4.1.2. Council of Ministers

The Council of Ministers, being the supreme executive authority in the country, is mandated to monitor all the internal and external affairs within its jurisdiction in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and the law.

The Constitution and some other laws (such as 5/1970 Determining the Powers of Law and the Appointment of Ministers of Government, Ministries and Other Governmental Agencies, 9/2000 Law on the Organization of the Council of Ministers, and 21/2004 on the Law Minister) structure the work and the system of ministries.

According to the provisions of Articles 117:120 of the constitution, the Council of Ministers shall assist the Emir in discharging his functions and exercising his powers in accordance with this Constitution and the provisions of the law. The formation of the Council of Ministers shall be by an Emir Order based on a proposal by the Prime Minister. The Emir may entrust the Prime Minister or any other Minister with the functions of one or more ministries. And the law shall specify the powers of Ministers. Prior to assuming office, the Prime Minister and the Ministers shall take an oath before the Emir. Only persons of original Qatari nationality shall assume a Ministerial post.

Article 126 of permanent constitution of the state of Qatar points out that the meetings of the Council of Ministers shall be quorum if a majority of its Members are present, provided that the Prime Minister or his Deputy are present. The discussions of the Council shall be secret. And its decisions shall be made by a majority of the present Members. When the votes are equal, the Prime Minister shall have casting vote. The minority shall abide by the opinion of the majority.

According to the provisions of Articles 123 of the constitution, the Prime Minister and the Ministers are collectively responsible before the Emir for the implementation of the general Government policy; and each one of them is individually responsible before the Emir for the manner in which he carries out his duties and exercises his function. Functions of the Council of Ministers

Articles 121 and 122 of the constitution make clear that the Council of Ministers shall specifically perform the following functions:

Article 122 adds that the ministers shall implement the general government policy, each within the limits of his jurisdiction. The Emir may request the Prime Minister and the Ministers to submit reports on any matter of the State that fall within the scope of their functions. The Prime Minister

The H.H. Emir shall appoint the Prime Minister, accept his resignation and remove him from office by an Emir Order. The resignation of the Prime Minister or his removal from office shall entail all Ministers. In the event of acceptance or resignation or removal from the office, the same Council shall continue to run urgent matters until the new Council is appointed, according to Article 72 of the Constitution.

According to the provisions of Article 125 of the Constitution, the Prime Minister shall preside over the sessions of the Council, organize its proceedings and supervise coordination of work among the various Ministries in order to achieve unity and harmony among the Governmental organs of the State. The Prime Minister shall sign, in the name and on behalf of the Council of Ministers, decisions made by the Council. He shall also submit to the Emir the decisions of the Council on matters requiring an Emir Resolution for approval and issuance in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution. The Ministers

The Emir shall appoint Ministers by an Emir Order upon nomination by the Prime Minister and he shall accept resignations of Ministers and relieve them from office in a like manner. Where a resignation of a Minister has been accepted, the Minister may be entrusted with running urgent matters until his successor is appointed, according to Article 73 of the Constitution. The cabinet primarily includes the following Ministries:

4.2. The Legislative Authority

The Permanent Constitution of the State of Qatar and some other laws, such as 9/1970 Law on the Organization of General Elections to the Shura Council in Qatar and 6/1979 Law on the Internal Regulation of Law Advisory Council, organize the work and system of Legislative Authority.

According to the provisions of Articles 61 and 76 of the Constitution, the Legislative Authority shall be vested in the Advisory Council (the Shoura Council) as prescribed in this Constitution. The Advisory Council (the Shoura Council) assumes the legislative authority, approves the general policy of the government and the budget, and exercises control over the executive authority as specified in the constitution.

The Shoura Council was established in 1972. The Council expresses its opinions in the form of recommendations being considered by HH the Ruler of the State of Qatar and the Cabinet in performing and executing their tasks. The Council has jurisdiction over the State’s general policy offered to it by the government regarding political, economic, cultural, social and administrative matters and laws proposed by the Cabinet and budgets for major projects.

The Cabinet of Ministers may also submit legislative proposals to the Shoura Council for deliberations. Such proposals of the Cabinet of Ministers are not binding on the Shoura Council. The Constitution provides that every draft law adopted by the Shoura Council has to be referred finally to the Emir for endorsement.

The Emir has the right to decline ratification of a draft law and return the same to the Council. If the Shoura Council readopts the rejected draft law by a majority of two thirds, the Emir shall endorse the law and promulgate it. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Emir may suspend the implementation of such law for an indefinite period if, in his determination, doing so is in the best interest of the State.

Chapter Three of Part Four of the Permanent Constitution of the State of Qatar points out that the Shoura Council be prescribed for the following rules and procedures.

4.2.1. Formation and Membership

The Advisory Council consists of forty-five members, thirty of whom are elected by direct, general secret ballot and the Emir appoints the remaining fifteen members from amongst the ministers or any other persons. The term of service of the appointed members expires when these members resign their seats or are relieved from their posts, according to Article 77 of the Constitution.

4.2.2. Membership Conditions

According to the provisions of Article 80 of the Constitution, the following conditions need to be fulfilled in order to be a member of the Shoura Council:

Prior to the discharge of their duties before the Shoura Council, the members shall take the oath in an open session according to Article 92 of the Constitution.

4.2.3. The Sessions

The annual term of the session of the Council is at least eight months and the Council may not be allowed to adjourn the session until the budget of the state is approved. The Council commences its annual ordinary session upon convocation by the Emir within the month of October every year. The Emir or his nominated representative opens the annual term of the session of the Advisory Council and gives a comprehensive speech in which he addresses the affairs of the state. In case of necessity, the Emir, by Decree or upon a request by majority of the members of the Council, calls the Council to an extraordinary meeting, where the Council may not look into matters other than those for which the Council is convoked. Summoning and adjourning the ordinary and extraordinary sessions shall be made by Decree.

4.2.4. The Council's Bureau and Voting

According to the provisions of Article 91 of the Constitution, the Council shall hold its meetings in its seat in Doha City; however, the Emir may call the Council to convene in any other place. The Council has a bureau consisting of the Speaker, his Deputy and chairs of committees, and has a general secretariat to assist the Council in the discharge of its functions. The Advisory Council makes its internal regulations comprising its internal order and the conduct of its business, the work of committees, organization of sessions, rules of proceedings, voting and all functions stipulated in the constitution. The regulations determine the disciplinary penalties for the members' violation of order or failure to attend sessions of the Council or committees without acceptable reason. The aforementioned regulations are issued by law.

Sittings of the Council are public. They may also be held in camera upon a request of one-third of the members of the Council or upon a request from the Council of Ministers. The resolutions of the Council are passed by absolute majority of the attending members except in cases that require a special majority. In case the votes are equal, the speaker shall have the casting vote.

According to the provisions of Articles 99 & 100 of the Constitution, in order for the sessions of the Council to be quorum, the majority of the Members must be present provided that the Speaker or his Deputy is present. If quorum is not attained, the session shall be adjourned to the next sitting.

4.2.5. The Functions of the Council

Every member of the Council has the right to propose bills, and every proposal is referred to the relevant committee in the Council for further study before making recommendations and submission to the Council. If the Council accepts the proposal, the same shall be referred in draft form to the government for study and opinion. Such a draft shall be returned to the Council during the same or the following term of session.

Every member of the Advisory Council may address an interpellation to ministers on matters within their jurisdiction. An interpellation may not be made unless it is agreed on by one-third of the members of the Council. Such interpellation may not be discussed before a period of at least ten days from the date of submission except in urgent circumstances and provided the minister agrees to reduce such period.

Every minister is responsible before the Advisory Council for the performance of his ministry and the minister may not be subjected to a vote of confidence save after an interpellation addressed to him. The vote of confidence shall be discussed if the minister so desires or upon a request signed by fifteen members. The Council may not take a resolution in this respect before at least ten days from the date of the submission of the request or expression of desire. The vote of no confidence on the minister shall be decided by a majority of two thirds of the members of the Council. The minister is considered to have relinquished his office as of the date of the no confidence resolution. The member of the Council is under no circumstances accountable for opinions or statements he makes in respect of matters within the jurisdiction of the Council. Combination of membership of the Council and the assumption of public posts is not permissible save in cases where combination is permissible in accordance with the constitution.

4.2.6. Expiry of Membership

According to the provisions of Articles 101:104 of the Constitution the membership of the Council expires by reason of:

The Emir may dissolve the Council by a decree in which the reasons for the dissolution shall be stated. However, the Council shall not be dissolved twice for the same reason. Where the Council is dissolved, the elections of the new Council take place within a period not exceeding six months as of the date of dissolution. Until a new Council is elected, the Emir with the assistance of the Council of Ministers assumes the power of legislation.

4.3. The Judicial Authority

The Permanent Constitution of the State of Qatar and other laws, such as 13/1990 Code of Civil Procedure and the Commercial No. 13 of 1990 as amended by Act No. 7 of 1995 and Act No. 13 of 2005, 10/2002 Law on Public Prosecution, 10/2003 of the Authority Law, 12/2005 of a Law on the Appeal Procedures and non-discrimination in the criminal, 7/2007 Act on the disposition of administrative disputes, 12/2008 law establishing the Supreme Constitutional Court organizes the work and system of Judicial Authority.

The Judicial Authority shall be vested in courts of law as prescribed in the Constitution. Court judgments shall be pronounced in the name of the Emir, according to Article 63 of the Constitution. The judicial system is organized and established by judicial law, in terms of which litigation is divided into three stages: the courts of first instance, the courts of appeal and the court of cassation.

Civil trials are based on written pleadings and rebuttals. Criminal trials are based mostly on oral arguments. Proceedings in all courts are conducted in Arabic. Translators are provided for non-Arabic speaking litigants. Decisions of the lower courts can be appealed before the courts of appeal and then, in most cases, to the court of cassation. The law provides that the court of cassation shall have a technical office; one of its tasks would be to extract and publish legal principles established by the court. These principles will lead the lower courts to follow decisions of the court of cassation.

Articles 129:135 of the Constitution state 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 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 basis of rule in the State. The honor of the judiciary, its integrity, and impartiality of judges are a safeguard of rights and liberties. The law shall regulate the categories and divisions of courts and define their jurisdiction and powers. In addition, 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 only make them public via camera. In all cases, the pronouncement of judgments shall be made in an open session.

According to the provisions of the state of Qatar (Articles 132, 136, 137, 138, 140 of the Constitution), the judicial authority law, issued in 2003, defines the manners in which courts of law shall play their role in society. It stipulates that judges are independent and shall not be subject to removal from office save in cases specified by the law. The independence of the judiciary is inviolable and is protected by law against interference from other authorities. And other laws, such as 13/1990 Code of Civil Procedure and the Commercial No. 13 of 1990 as amended by Act No. 7 of 1995 and Act No. 13 of 2005, 10/2002 Law on Public Prosecution, 12/2005 Law on Appeal Procedures and Non-discrimination in the Criminal, 7/2007 Act on the disposition of administrative disputes and 12/2008 law establishing the Supreme Constitutional Court The judicial authorities and courts of law are described in the following section.

4.3.1. The Judiciary Supreme Council

The judiciary shall have a Supreme Council to supervise the proper functioning of courts of law and their auxiliary organs. The law shall determine the composition, powers and functions of the said Council, according to Article 137 of the Constitution. The judiciary’s Supreme Council was set up in 1999 to ensure the independence of the judiciary. It discharges the following functions:

4.3.2. 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 discharging the functions of the same according to Article 136 of the Constitution and 10/2002 Law on Public Prosecution.

4.3.3. Preliminary Court

The Preliminary Court has chambers to decide on doctrinal provisions (hudood), punishments (qisas), criminal, civil and commercial, personal affairs, inheritance, administrative disputes and other cases. Each court decides on the cases referred to it in accordance with the law. Other preliminary courts can be formed in other towns as per a decision from the judiciary’s supreme council.

4.3.4. Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal is responsible for deciding on the appeals filed against the sentences issued on doctrinal provisions (hudood), punishments (qisas), criminal, civil and commercial cases, personal affairs, inheritance, administrative disputes and other cases.

4.3.5. Court of Cassation

The Court of Cassation has chambers to decide on cases of objection for cassation on rulings and proceedings of the law. The law provides that the court of cassation shall have a technical office; one of its tasks would be to extract and publish legal principles established by the court. These principles will lead the lower courts to follow decisions of the court of cassation.

4.3.6. The Jurisdiction of Constitutionality

According to the provisions of Article 140 of the Constitution, the law shall specify the competent judicial body for settling of disputes pertaining to the constitutionality of laws and regulations, 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.

4.3.7. The Jurisdiction of Administrative Disputes of Laws and Regulations

According to the provisions of Article 138 of the Constitution, the law shall specify a competent judicial body for settling of Administrative Disputes of laws and regulations and define its powers. In 2008, Law 12/2008established the Supreme Constitutional Court.

4.3.8. Shari'a Courts

The Presidency is composed of the following main administrative units:

4.3.9. The Jurisdiction of the Military

According to the provisions of Article 132 of the Constitution, the jurisdiction of military tribunals is restricted, except 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.

5. Overview of Qatar Economy and Business Laws

5.1. Economy and Business of Qatar

Qatar’s economic prosperity is derived from the extraction and export of petroleum — discovered in 1939 and first produced in 1949 — and natural gas. Before World War II, Qatar’s population engaged in pearling, fishing, and some trade (with a few exceptions, these were the only occupations available) and was one of the poorest in the world. By the 1970’s, however, native Qataris enjoyed one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, despite subsequent declines in income due to fluctuations in world oil prices. Qatar’s original oil concession was granted to the Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC), a consortium of European and American firms.

Qatar's economic ascent in recent years is due in large part to its successful development of its hydrocarbon resources and robust and mutually rewarding relationships with international partners. Geopolitics in the Arabian Gulf and the shifting tides of energy demand in distant markets have also played a role. Today Qatar is one of the wealthiest nations in the world, With the second highest GDP per capita of more than 70000USD, on the strength of oil and natural gas exports.

In 2005, the Qatar Financial Center started to attract international financial services and multinational corporations to grow and develop the market for financial services and multinational corporations in the region. Over the next five years, The QFC estimates that it will provide access to over USD 1 trillion-planned investment across the Gulf Cooperation council states.

Qatar was invited to join the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes as a “relevant jurisdiction” in 2008. It joined the new global forum in December 2009 and committed to implementing international standards of transparency and exchange information. Qatar is ranked 48th for the year 2014 in the Ease of Doing Business’ ratings (out of 189 economies) maintained by The World Bank

In 2011, Qatar launched Qatar National Development Strategy 2011-2016, demonstrating the Qatar National Vision 2030. QNV 2030 articulates three interrelated goals for the economy. It looks to sustain a high standard of living, to expand innovation and entrepreneurial capabilities and to align economic outcomes with economic and financial stability. To embed sustainability, which means meeting the needs of the current generation without compromising those of future generations, in Qatar’s economy, QNV 2030 demonstrated that progress is needed in three parallel, mutually reinforcing directions. First, the country will enlarge the value of the productive base, which is necessary to sustain prosperity in an economy with a growing population and to expand the potential for future generations. Second, the government will guard against economic instability and promote increased efficiency. Third, the government will work in partnership with the private sector to diversify the economy and foster a culture of discovery and innovation.

5.2. Qatar Business Laws

Commercial law alongside the commercial companies are the main axis of business law in Qatar. The Commercial Law of Qatar 27/2006 Law on Promulgating the Trading Regulation Law and its amendments cover all commercial activities like commercial contracts, commercial agency, trademarks, trade names, unfair competition, banking operations, bill of exchange, bankruptcy etc.

A new companies’ law in Qatar, the 11/2015 law, 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 new forms of companies and respect to the incorporation procedures of companies.

5.3. Focus on Update Corporate Law

The 11/2015 Law on Commercial Companies was officially published in the Official Gazette on July 7, 2015 and applicable effective August 7, 2015. As of February 2016, the law states that all addressees should adjust their situation in accordance with the provisions of the attached law within 6 months’ period from its effective applicable date. The following are the key changes in the new Commercial Companies law.

5.3.1. General Key

Changes in forms of business entities: Private establishments and Single Person Companies are no longer a form of business entities. By law, the permitted forms of business entities are as follows: limited liability companies, limited partnership, joint venture company, public shareholding company, private shareholding company, equities partnership and general partnership. That corporation that does not take any of the above forms shall be deemed null and void.

Governance Report: the new law requires corporate governance reports to be integral parts of the General Assembly of the company.

5.3.2. Feram of Public Shareholding Companies (P.S.C.):

The minimum share capital in public shareholding companies is QR. 10 million. The par value can range from QR. 1 to QR. 100, compared to QR. 10 as in the old law. The board of directors must contain a minimum of 5 and maximum of 11 board members. Shares are distributed amongst public shareholders and can be traded on the stock exchange.

A PSC cannot give cash loans to its board members, except for banks or other financial institutions who can grant loan and open credit facilities in accordance with the credit rules set out by the Qatar Central Bank. BOD remunerations should not exceed 5% of net profit after deduction of legal reserve, legal deductions and contribution and distribution of dividends to shareholders.

The chairman of the board shall issue the full set of financial statements 15 days before the scheduled annual general meeting in 2 local newspapers; one in English and one in Arabic, and he will send one copy to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry prior to publishing on company’s website.

The general assembly should be held at least once a year and within 4 months of the end of the financial year, and the agenda should include:

Control over Listing:

5.3.3. Feram of Limited Liability Company (L.L.C)

Partner’s Register: The company shall keep a special register of the partners at its head office and will include the following:

Change in Capital: The company AOA shall neither be amended, nor the company capital increased or decreased except by a decision issued by the partners GA based on the majority of votes holding three quarters of the company capital unless the AOA requires higher percentage of votes.

Legal Reserves: Companies should allocate 10% of their net profit for the year to legal reserve. Legal reserve allocation can stop once the legal reserve has reached 50% of the share capital. This reserve can be used to offset the company’s losses or increase its capital through a GA meeting of partners.

Accumulation of Loss: If the loss of an LLC exceeds 50% of the share capital, the management has to call for a partners’ meeting and the partners should resolve to either dissolve the company or increase its share capital. If managers fail to call for a partners meeting, or if this resolution is not passed, then the managers or partners according to the situation will become jointly and severally responsible for the company’s commitments

Annual Accounts: Companies to prepare the final accounts (balance sheet and P&L), report on company’s operations, and suggestions for profit distribution within 2 months after the reporting date and file it along with the auditor report with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry within a period of a month after preparation of the document.

Annual General Meeting (AGM) - the partner’s general assembly agenda in its annual meeting should include the following:

5.3.4. Feram of Holding Companies

By law, the minimum share capital requirement in holding companies is QR. 10 Million.

5.3.5. Violation of the Law and Penalties

New fines and penalties amounting to QR. 10,000 per day to a maximum of QR. 1 million are introduced. case of any violation of the law the Ministry may impose (Warnings, Blames and Preventing the violator to act as a member of the board). Fines amounting to QR. 10,000 per day if violation is continued Penalties up to QR. 1,000,000.

Imprisonment of maximum 2 years and/or a fine of QR. 1 Million may be imposed on:

5.4. Framework of Natural Resources

Government agencies provide very little information on the legal framework governing natural resources. No supervisory or regulatory body oversees resource extraction or revenue management. The Ministry of Energy and Industry regulates Qatar's oil and natural gas policy, subject to the ultimate control of the Emir of Qatar.

Under the Qatar Petroleum Law, Qatar Petroleum manages upstream, midstream and downstream oil and gas operations on behalf of the Government. Qatar Petroleum acts as the state's investment arm in the oil and gas sector. The oil and gas industry (including LNG) is overall regulated by the Natural Resources Law (Law No. (3) of 2007 regarding the Exploitation of Natural Resources and its Sources (Natural Resources Law). Oil and natural gas, as well as other mineral resources, are the property of the state. The Ministry of Energy and Industry regulates Qatar's policy on oil and gas, subject to the ultimate control of the Emir of Qatar. Qatar Petroleum is entrusted with management and development of all of Qatar's hydrocarbon resources. There is little detail in the Natural Resources law as to how this is to be implemented.

The right to explore, develop and produce petroleum is typically granted by way of development and production sharing agreements (DPSAs) and exploration and production sharing agreements (EPSAs) with Qatar Petroleum. Qatar Petroleum (and, through it, the Government) therefore determines the basis on which an entity participates in the Qatari oil and gas (including LNG) industry.

LNG projects are usually integrated with the corresponding upstream development. The key legislation in relation to oil and gas exploration and production include:

Ownership Natural resources (including oil and natural gas) are state property under the Natural Resources Law. Under the Law, Qatar Petroleum has exclusive rights to explore, develop and produce oil and gas in Qatar, with authority to grant rights to third parties to carry out petroleum operations.

Rights are granted to investors through EPSAs or DPSAs (collectively PSAs) For joint venture companies, especially in LNG projects Qatar Petroleum typically uses agreements called Development and Fiscal Agreements (DFAs). Qatar Petroleum signs the agreements on behalf of the state. In order to become effective, they must be approved by a decree of the Emir of Qatar.

In general, different authorizations are not issued for different stages of development. The PSAs and DFAs typically embody the principal authorizations necessary for the exploration, development and production of hydrocarbons. The terms of the PSAs and DFAs are not generally in the public domain.

5.5. Framework of Banking

The Qatar Central Bank (QCB) licenses and regulates 18 banks as of January 2015, a figure which has been steadily growing since Arab Bank became the first QCB-licensed lender in 1957. Seven of these institutions are national, conventional lenders, which between them operated 189 branches as of December 2014, according to central bank data.

Local banks dominate the market in terms of assets and infrastructure, but compete for business with seven foreign banks, which have played an important part in Qatar’s economic life for over half a century. While their presence in the country is limited to 16 branches, their number includes global giants.

The traditional lenders – both national and foreign – have faced increasing competition in recent years from sharia-compliant lenders, the first of which, Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB), was licensed in 1983. It has been joined in the Islamic segment by three institutions, the most recent entrant being Barwa Bank, which received permission to operate from the QCB in 2009. In addition to QCB-licensed banks, more than 20 institutions operate from the separate regulatory environment of the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), though their activity is often conducted through representative offices.

5.5.1. Qatar Central Bank (QCB)

Qatar's monetary and banking system is headed by the Qatar Central Bank (QCB). The bank supervises all banks and money exchange companies in Qatar. In 1993, the QCB was established to assume the functions of the Qatar Monetary Agency. The bank was set up in part to make it independent of the Ministry of Finance and Petroleum. The QCB is responsible for assuring that all banks operating in Qatar comply with international standards and auditing procedures. Total assets of all banks operating in Qatar was estimated at $13.8 billion in 2000. As of 1999, there were 14 banks operating in Qatar: seven national, two Arab, and six foreign. There were also 10 money exchange companies. The Qatar National Bank is the largest with total assets exceeding $5 billion.

The Qatari Riyal was fixed to the US dollar at a rate of US $1=QR 3.65 in June 1980 and has remained at that rate to date. However, for practical purposes the rate is US $1=QR 3.639. Because the exchange rate is fixed, Qatar cannot employ monetary policy for domestic price regulation and employment objectives. The International Monetary Fund reports that in 2001, currency and demand deposits—an aggregate commonly known as M1—were equal to $1.4 billion. In that same year, M2—an aggregate equal to M1 plus savings deposits, small time deposits, and money market mutual funds—was $7.9 billion.

The Government of Qatar recently issued the new Central Bank Law, Law No. 13 of 2012 (the “QCB Law”), which came into force in January 2013.

This new piece of legislation is a comprehensive overhaul of the legislation that existed previously, Law No. 33 of 2006 (the Old QCB Law). The Qatar Central Bank (the “QCB”) is the primary regulator of financial institutions operating in Qatar, and the QCB Law has now expanded its supervisory powers to cover the insurance sector and the Qatar Financial Centre. The QCB Law addresses many issues for the first time, including Islamic banking, mergers, and acquisitions of financial institutions, credit rating agencies, insurance, treating customers fairly, and resolution of failing banks.

5.5.2. Anti-Money Laundering Law

The Financial Services Regulations confer upon the QFC Regulatory Authority responsibility in relation to the prevention and detection of money laundering, terrorist financing or other financial crime in the QFC.

The QFC Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Terrorism Financing Rules provide the QFC compliance framework and detailed requirements in relation to AML/CFT. The rules have been designed to be in accordance with the State Law – No (4) of 2010 Anti-Money Laundering Law and aligned to the Financial Action Task Force global recommendations and standards. In addition, relevant Qatari criminal laws in relation to this subject continue to apply in the QFC. The principal Qatari laws are provided below:

5.6. Framework of Tax and Customs Laws

Qatar Tax Administration: Qatar is the second easiest country to pay taxes in, and tax payments are considered to be among the least problematic factors when doing business in the country. Qatari nationals are exempt from income and corporate taxes. There are no other major taxes apart from customs duties. Foreign corporations operating in Qatar pay a 10% corporate tax rate, except in oil and gas operations, where the general tax rate is 35%.

Qatar Customs Administration: Undocumented customs payments are reported to be rare, and the border administration is considered transparent. The Qatari e-government portal Hukoomi provides all the necessary information concerning customs and port laws. The General Authority of Customs website is a one-stop shop for customs-related matters. The standard export of goods takes less time and procedures than the regional average.

The State of Qatar has signed multiple conventions with many countries regarding the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income and on capital.

5.7. Framework of Stock Exchange Laws

Established in 1995, the Doha Securities Market (DSM) officially started operations in 1997. Since then the exchange has grown to become one of the leading stock markets in the GCC region. In accordance with these Laws and the QFC Anti Money Laundering Regulations, firms may be required, amongst other things, to make suspicious transaction reports to the Qatar Financial Information Unit. When doing so, firms should use the relevant template report form.

Qatar's economic ascent of recent years has few parallels. It was not preordained by its bountiful carbon resources, nor did it occur merely by chance. Many countries blessed by resources have failed to prosper and develop. In Qatar, successful development of its hydrocarbon resources followed from visionary and committed national leadership, robust and mutually rewarding relationships with international partners, and vigorous execution. Geopolitics in the Arabian Gulf and the shifting tides of energy demand in distant markets have also played a role.

Qatar is ranked 83rd for the year 2019 out of 189 countries in the Ease of Doing Business’ ratings (out of 189 economies) maintained by The World Bank. In June 2009, Qatar Holding, the strategic and direct investment arm of Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), and NYSE Euronext, the world’s leading exchange group, signed an agreement to form a major strategic partnership to establish the Exchange as a world-class market. The DSM was renamed the Qatar Stock Exchange on the conclusion of the deal.

The primary aim of the Qatar Stock Exchange is to support Qatar’s economy by providing a venue for capital raising for Qatari companies as part of their corporate strategy and giving investors a platform through which they can trade a variety of products in a transparent and efficient manner. The Qatar Stock Exchange also provides the public with access to market information and ensures correct disclosure of information.

Regulation of the Exchange: The Qatar Stock Exchange is regulated by the Qatar Financial Markets Authority (QFMA). The QFMA is an independent and empowered regulatory and supervisory authority for the capital markets in Qatar. On September 14, 2005, Law No (33) for the Year 2002 was issued relevant to the establishment of QFMA and the Doha Securities Market Company (DSMC). And on April 3, 2005, a law was issued amending some provisions of Law No (13) of the Year 2000 regulating the foreign investment in the economic activities. The amendment allows non-Qatari’s to invest in all companies listed at the QSE (DSM formerly) at a rate not exceeding 25% of the traded shares.

The Board of Management of the Qatar Financial Markets Authority was issued the Resolution No. 2/2015 Amending some provisions of decision No. 2 /2014 issued Acquisitions and Mergers System (M&A).

5.8. List of Business Related Laws

6. Governance and Compliance of Public Funds in Qatar

6.1. Transparency

The assessment of the legal and regulatory framework of Qatar was carried out in accordance with the international standards for transparency and exchange of information as described in the Global Forum’s Terms of Reference and was prepared using the Global Forum’s Methodology for Peer Reviews and Non-Member Reviews. The assessment was based on the laws, regulations, and exchange of information mechanisms as at May 2010, other materials supplied by Qatar, and information supplied by partner jurisdictions.

The Terms of Reference break down the standards of transparency and exchange of information into 10 essential elements and 31 enumerated aspects under three broad categories: (A) availability of information; (B) access to information; and (C) exchanging information.

This review assesses Qatar’s legal and regulatory framework against these elements and each of the enumerated aspects. In respect of each essential element a determination is made that either (i) the element is in place, (ii) the element is in place but certain aspects of the legal implementation of the element need improvement, or (iii) the element is not in place. These determinations are accompanied by recommendations for improvement where relevant.

Qatar is ranked 22nd in the Corruption Perceptions Index 2015 made by Transparency International. The State of Qatar has been ranked first among the Gulf and Arab countries in Transparency International’s (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2015.

The State of Qatar is exerting many efforts aimed at promoting national transparency and integrity indicators, improving its indexes and rank among the most developed countries in terms of transparency and integrity in the world.

To achieve this target, the State of Qatar has added a number of legislations in line with international agreements, particularly the United Nations Convention Against Corruption in order to enhance transparency, integrity, promote full control of state funds, protect public money from waste and promote international cooperation as a top priority by profiting of international expertise and successful experiences.

6.2. Audit and Public Audit

Audit: The following forms of companies must have an audit:

All publicly listed companies shall have an annual and semi-annual audit. Most companies with foreign shareholders carry out an annual audit, especially for the purpose of tax declaration. Most 100% Qatari owned companies do not carry out an audit of their annual accounts unless the shareholders ask for one or there are requirements by other third parties (for example, banks and other regulatory bodies) or to meet any other specific requirement

Public Audit: All the companies in Qatar are required to prepare their financial statements in accordance with the accounting principles approved internationally. In the absence of national accounting principles and practices, the Ministry of Economy and Commerce accepts financial reports prepared according to standards promulgated by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). Most companies prepare their financial reports in accordance with International Financial Reporting standards (IFRS). The Public Listed Companies financial reports must comply with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and International Accounting Standards (IAS).

6.3. Overview of United Nations Convention against Corruption

The legal and institutional framework of the State of Qatar is in the context of implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption that the State of Qatar (Qatar) signed on 1 December 2005 and ratified by Decree 17 of 2007 on 30 January 2007. The Convention entered into force for Qatar on 1 March 2007.

The laws of Qatar criminalize bribery and trading in influence (arts. 15, 16, 18 and 21). Qatar criminalizes active bribery of national public officials pursuant to article 141 read in conjunction with article 140 of the Penal Code (PC), provided that the offer or the promise is accepted. The same penalty applies to the intermediary.

The institutions most relevant in the fight against corruption are the Public Prosecution office, which has a dedicated department handling corruption and money-laundering cases, the Administrative Control and Transparency Authority and Qatar Financial Information Unit (FIU).

6.4. Qatar Public Procurement

A new Tenders Law has recently been decreed in Qatar and was effective on 2016 . Following a recognized need for a set of uniform guidelines bringing more clarity to the public procurement process the new law has been a positive step forward. It revamps and modernizes the governmental contracting process in the State of Qatar.

The new law applies to most governmental and quasi-governmental contracts of the State of Qatar. It can also apply to private entities receiving state funding. Government contracting in Qatar offers lucrative opportunities for local and international businesses that know how to take advantage of them.

6.5. Conflicts of Interest

Together with the traditional methods of governmental contracting, the new law introduces competition as a method of procurement for technical works, including drawings and designs. It also extends to two-stage tendering which can assist in defining the technical requirement and the scope of work. At the same time, it secures appointments based on the right contractor, agreed costs and appropriate transfer of risk.

To manage conflicts of interest the new law requires relevant government employees to declare any potential interest, whether directly or indirectly, in any governmental contract, which brings the law in line with international best practice.

6.6. Dispute Resolution Committee

The new law introduces a dispute resolution committee which is headed by a senior judge and has jurisdiction to hear all pre-contract execution disputes. This allows for a specialized forum for disputes in relation to government contracts

7. University Education and Research

7.1. Universities, Institutions and Research & Community Service Centers:

In 2002, the Supreme Education Council (SEC) was established. According to Emir Decree 37/ the Supreme Education Council (SEC) directs the nation’s education policy. The council plays an integral role in the development and implementation of the education reform. The Supreme Education Council is comprised of the following:

Qatar University: Qatar University was founded in 1973 with two faculties of education for boys and girls. In the following year, the university developed and expanded, increasing its activities and faculties until it officially became a complete and integrated university in 1977, (by 2/1977) under the new name ‘University of Qatar’. Qatar University is comprised of the following faculties:

The Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development is a non-profit private institution, and was established in 1995 by the initiative of H.H. the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani. H.H. Sheikha Mouza Bint Nasser Al-Misnad and the Amir's Consort chair the foundation and guide it to implement its objectives and programs.

To achieve its objectives, the Qatar Foundation has set up a number of affiliated organs and independent administrations which are all linked through the foundation in the fields of education, health and community development.

Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development celebrated the inauguration of Education City in 2003. This is a pioneering project aimed at the qualification of cadres and investment in human resources with a view to promote future thinking and creative solutions.

The Center Legal and Judicial Studies was established in 2001 by Law 8/2001, with the objective of promoting the efficiency and performance of those working in the judicial and legal fields for different ministries and institutions.

7.2. Other Universities, Institutions and Research & Community Service Centers

The following are two major visions being currently considered, both in research stages:

7.3. Quick Links Research

7.3.1. Legal Links

7.3.2. Government Links

7.3.3. Council’s Links

7.3.4. Education Links

7.3.5. Finance and Economy Links

7.3.6. Authorities and Institutions Links

8. Laws, Studies and Reports

8.1. Studies and Reports

8.2. The Laws of Qatar

8.2.1. Constitution, Law and Justice Legislation

8.2.2. Legislation and Policy

8.2.3. Economic Legislation

8.2.4. Legislation, Energy, Industry and Mineral Wealth

8.2.5. Legislation on Citizenship and Passports

8.2.6. Civil Legislation

8.2.7. Penal Legislation

8.2.8. Civil Service Legislation, Employment and Occupations

8.2.9. Legislation of Islamic Affairs and Endowments

8.2.10. Legislation, Municipal and Agriculture

8.2.11. Environmental Legislation and Livestock

8.2.12. Health Legislation

8.2.13. Family Legislation

8.2.14. Educational Legislation

8.2.15. Legislation, Youth and Sports

8.2.16. Legislation, Culture, Art and Literature

8.2.17. Legislation, Science and Technology

8.2.18. Security Legislation, Protection and Civil Defense

8.2.19. Property and Real Estate Legislation

8.2.20. Legislation, Ministries, Bodies and Institutions

8.2.21. Legislation, Customs, Transport and Communications

8.2.22. Other Legislation