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In light of the continuous efforts of Qatar to be considered as one of the main attractive hubs for businesses and companies in the region, Law number (20) of 2021 on Mediation for the Settlement of Civil and Commercial Disputes was issued on the 18th of October – 2021.
A step that enhances the role of ADR (alternative dispute resolution) in Qatar, consequently leading to an increase in the attractiveness of the state’s business environment.
In this article, the author will introduce an overview of the new Mediation Law; highlighting the most important points stipulated by the legislator.
The legislator chose to define several important terms in Article (1) of the Law, some of these definitions are:
- Mediation: an alternative dispute resolution method that parties can agree to hold on to or upon the competent court’s request.
- Mediation agreement: a written agreement by the parties to resort to mediation in regards with all or some of the disputes that may arise in respect with a certain legal relation – contractual or non-contractual –, the agreement can be included as a clause in a contract, or be agreed upon independently.
- Resolution agreement: The agreement obtained through mediation, whether it resulted in a full or partial resolution of the parties’ dispute.
Article (5) of The Law determined certain requirements for both natural and juridical persons willing to act as mediators as the following:
For natural persons:
They must have the Full legal capacity, must be known with good conduct, reputation, integrity, impartiality and experience. In addition, they must have not been convicted with any judgment of a felony or misdemeanor involving breach of honor or dishonesty. Moreover, natural persons willing to operate as mediators must have not been discharged from a previous job as a result of a decision or a disciplinary action, same applies on any register they’ve been listed on and their license of profession.
For Juridical persons:
- Must be a private company or an entity of public benefit.
- Must not have been declared bankrupt by a final judgment.
- The company’s employees working in the area of mediation must satisfy the requirements for a natural person willing to operate as a mediator.
The Mediation Agreement:
According to The Law, the mediation agreement must be in writing, otherwise it will be considered void.
Any reference in a contract to a document containing a mediation clause is considered a mediation agreement provided that such reference is explicit in considering that clause or document as part of the contract.
Last but not least, the mediation agreement shall not lapse upon the death of one of the parties, and its implementation may be carried out by or against the persons representing that party, unless the parties agree otherwise and without prejudice to any legislation forcing the termination of substantive rights or obligations due to death.
The new Mediation Law insures the confidentiality of the mediation process, including talks, negotiations, and mediation-related documents. Consequently, any breach in terms of confidentiality may lead to a penalty of QAR 20,000 or 5% of the value of the dispute, whichever is greater.
Any disclosed materials breaching confidentiality shall not be recognised by courts in the state of Qatar. Moreover, the assigned court shall transfer the case to another court without including the revealed- by a breach of confidentiality- information.
A more detailed article discussing the new Mediation Law will be provided. However, our professionals at Al-Hababi Law firm will always be glad to help and assist!