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Qatar Judicial System

Litigation before Arbitration

The Qatari legislator has defined in Article No. 22 of the procedures code the qualitative jurisdiction of the court of first instance, which is formed of a solo judge to give interlocutory judgment in all the claims and disputes, in which the lawsuit value does not exceed one hundred thousand riyals.

It is prescribed that estimating the lawsuit value shall be considered at the day of filing it. The estimation shall also include benefits, compensations, expenses and other estimated-value annexes.

The estimation shall be based upon requests of both parties, regardless of the judgment thereof.

Article No.23 of the same code has stipulated upon that the court of summary jurisdiction shall be competent with judging in the interlocutory request or the associated request with the original one, if according to its value or type; it does not fall within its jurisdiction, i.e., exceeding one hundred thousand riyals. Interlocutory requests shall be submitted by the plaintiff or the defendant in accordance with the conditions specified in Articles 79-82 of the procedures code.

The Legislator has defined in Article No.24 : The jurisdiction of the plenary court of first instance, forming of three judges to give interlocutory judgment in the civil and commercial lawsuits and disputes and in the administrative contracts, in which the lawsuit value exceeds one hundred thousand riyals, in addition to the lawsuits that can not determine the value of the requested therein according to the rules set forth in Article No. 30 of the procedures law.

The legislator has not required the statements of claim, submitted by the court of first instance of summary of jurisdiction or the plenary court of first instance to be signed by a lawyer. This requirement has been only required in the appeals statements, issued by the court of first instance or the court of appeal, as stipulated to be signed by one of the lawyers, admitted for pleading before the court, to which the appeal has been submitted pursuant to the provision of Article 6 of the law no. 23 for the year 2006.

The qualitative jurisdiction shall be related to public order. Thus, it shall not be agreed upon otherwise, and the court shall have no competence over jurisdiction.

Filing and registering the lawsuit

Article No. 31 of the procedures code has stipulated upon that the lawsuit shall be filed to the court based on a request of the plaintiff by a statement, deposited for the competent court's jurisdiction and be announced to the defendant. Further, it has selected the second paragraph of the aforementioned Article, to be included within the statement of the lawsuit.

The legislator has considered the lawsuit to be filed and leading to the effects of its filing from the date of depositing its statement in the court bureau, even if the court has not been competent of jurisdiction according to the provision of Article No. 32. Article No. 33 has obliged the plaintiff upon submitting the origin of the lawsuit statement to the court bureau to pay the full due charge and to submit copies thereof in the number of the defendants, in addition to a copy to the court bureau, and further to attach all the supporting documents to its lawsuit to the statement.

The legislator has not resulted to the invalidity of non-admission of the statement to the non payment of the charge, although we consider its exclusion from the roller.

Submitting the documents annexed to the statement is also a regulatory procedure, not resulting from violation of nullity, and thus the plaintiff shall submit documents in the first session. The court bureau shall register the lawsuit at the day of submitting the statement in the issues record and shall allocate a file thereof and deliver the statement copies and the announcement of each plaintiff on the time, not exceeding a week at most to the entrusted for announcement authority to take their declaration within two weeks at most from the date of receipt, unless determining an appointment to the hearing for the lawsuit consideration, during such time. In this case, announcement shall be before the hearing, taking into account the referred to attendance appointments in Article No. 35 .

By completing the announcement, litigation shall be held and its parties shall proceed its procedures till issuing the judgment thereof.

The difference between procedures before courts and arbitration procedures

Arbitration is an extraordinary method, in which its two parties shall agree in accordance with the mechanism of deducting the dispute thereof rather than resorting to the state court (the originally competent court to consider the lawsuit).

Arbitration may be agreed upon in a separate contract or document, but it is important to be in writing as writing is a means to prove agreement on arbitration.

Article No. 190 of the procedures law has permitted agreement of arbitration in a particular dispute of the arbitration document, so in this case the dispute subject shall be mentioned. Further, it has permitted agreement on the arbitration contract in all the disputes, arising from implementing a certain contract, which often be upon agreement of concluding the contract, and thus previously to the dispute emergence.

The legislator has not permitted arbitration in the matters which may not be settled, and arbitration shall be only valid through those eligible for its rights. If dispute has been arisen in regard for the implementation of a certain contract, including the arbitration condition and filing a lawsuit before the competent of jurisdiction court by one of its parties for dispute consideration, the defendant shall not accept the lawsuit for the lack of arbitration condition.

Such designation shall appear before taking in the subject, unless its rights thereof shall fall and the court shall not judge with the non-acceptance of the lawsuit for the presence of the arbitration clause of its own.

Article No. 193 has determined that the arbitrator shall not be underage or guardianship or deprived of his civil rights on the ground of a criminal penalty or bankrupt unless he was rehabilitated. Should there be many arbitrations, there number shall be odd, or otherwise the arbitration shall be considered as null. In conformity with the provisions of the special laws, the arbitrators shall be appointed in the agreement of arbitration or in an independent agreement.

Article No.194 has necessitated that arbitrator shall be in writing, unless he was appointed by the court. And after the admission of the arbitration he shall not relinquish his appointment for an unserious reason or he may be judged to pay indemnities to the litigants. The arbitrators shall not be dismissed unless according to the consent of all the litigants or by virtue of a court judgment; they shall not be recused from the judgment unless for reasons arising or occurring after the conclusions of the arbitration document. The recusal shall be moved for through the procedures and for the same reasons by which the judge shall be recused or considered as unqualified for sitting in a judgment. The motion for recusal shall be submitted to the court being initially of competent jurisdiction to examine the action within five days starting from the date on which the litigant is informed of the appointment of the arbitrator. The judgment of the court in respect of the motion for recusal can be appealed pursuant to the rules mentioned in Article(205) . Article No. 195 has identified the way of their appointment.

If an agreed upon arbitration dispute has arisen, either parties may notify the other party in writing of its request to resort to arbitration, in which determining the contract involving the arbitration condition or the dependant document, agreed upon for arbitration; stating the dispute subject and a summary of its demands therein and notifying him of the nominated arbitrator thereof, its address and how to contact him and further requesting him to appoint its arbitrator within a determined period, notifying him thereof and its data and how to contact him.

After the respondent's reply on the arbitration demand and naming an arbitrator thereof, the two nominated arbitrators shall choose a third arbitrator, to be a chief of the arbitration authority, and sometimes, choosing the probable arbitrator and first nomination shall be more satisfactory as the phrase probable arbitrator shall suppose that each arbitrator will take sides with who chooses, which sometimes does not happen, and unanimous judgment shall be issued.

An arbitration document shall be edited, in which the dispute subject shall be identified, in addition to the place of holding the arbitration, its language and the applicable law, as well as the term which arbitrators shall issue their judgment therein. In case of not determining the term, arbitrators shall judge within three months of accepting arbitration. And we see that it shall be from the date of accepting the last arbitrator for arbitration, as at that time only the authority would be completed, particularly it will spend too long time between naming the first arbitrator and its acceptance to the arbitration mission and choosing the last arbitrator.

If the arbitration parties has prevented from determining the applicable law and agreement upon arbitration has been done in Qatar, the Qatari laws shall be applicable, unless otherwise agreed upon by the parties.

Arbitrators shall determine schedules for the opponents to submit their memorandums, documents and their defense. The conduct of arbitration procedures shall be as stated in the arbitration document or according to law in case of non-agreement.

The most important thing that should be taken into account is that the person proceeding the arbitration procedures for the respondent shall be delegated by a special attorney, pursuant to Article No. 44 of the procedures code and Article No. 721 of the civil law.

Articles No. 190 and No. 210 of the procedures code shall organize the arbitration procedures. Due to the long time for settling the dispute, a lawsuit of the invalidity arbitration judgment shall be filed with certain conditions before the court originally competent to hear the dispute and the verdict is subject to appeal by the appeal, as well as the judgment of the appeal may be appealed by way of discrimination.

The arbitration judgment shall be also challenged on appeal, as well as a petition to reconsider in specific cases of Article No. 206 of the procedures code.

They are about procedures that loosen the arbitration its targeted purpose, which is the expedited settlement of disputes and avoiding the long time of the state courts.

And further for the arbitration articles' keeping pace with the development occurring in the state, the arbitration articles are currently modified