This country-specific Q&A provides an overview of International Arbitration laws and regulations applicable in Qatar.
What legislation applies to arbitration in your country? Are there any mandatory laws?
Law No. 2 of 2017 issuing the Arbitration Law in Civil and Commercial Matters (“the Arbitration Law”) applies.
The general duty of the tribunal is to act impartially and to treat the parties equally. In doing so, the tribunal is required to provide the parties a full and equal opportunity to present their respective cases, and avoid any unnecessary delays or expenses, and to ensure a fair and expeditious process (Article 18 of the Arbitration Law).
Having said that, parties have the flexibility to choose the rules applicable to the arbitral proceedings, and the tribunal must follow the same. However, if the parties are unable to agree the procedural rules, the tribunal can apply any rules that it deems appropriate (Articles 19(1) and (2) of the Arbitration Law).
There are also certain other aspects of the Arbitration Law, such as:
The parties are free to agree the language of the proceedings. In the absence of an agreement, the tribunal has the authority to decide the applicable language.
The parties can also choose any venue for the arbitration. If they do not agree, the tribunal will determine the venue keeping in mind the circumstances of the case and convenience for the parties.
The tribunal is required to conduct physical or virtual hearings, unless it deems that the arbitration can be concluded on the basis of the documents or if the parties have agreed otherwise.
The witnesses and experts do not need to swear an oath when giving evidence.
The arbitrators must render their award within the timeframe agreed by the parties. If there is no agreement, then the award must be rendered within a month of the conclusion of the proceedings.
The award must be in writing and signed by the arbitrator/arbitrators who rendered the award.
In addition, there are certain self-explanatory requirements for pleadings, representation and expert evidence, which can be found in Articles 23 to 27 of the Arbitration Law.
Is your country a signatory to the New York Convention? Are there any reservations to the general obligations of the Convention?
Qatar is a signatory to the New York Convention, under Emiri Decree No. 29 of 2003 which came into force on 15 March 2003. Qatar declared the ‘reciprocity reservation’ pursuant to Article 1(3) of the New York Convention, meaning that it will only recognise and enforce foreign awards made in other signatory states.
What other arbitration-related treaties and conventions is your country a party to?
Qatar is signatory to the following international treaties that are relevant to the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitration awards:
International Centre for Settlement of Investor Disputes Convention (ICSID Convention) as of 14 February 2011, under Emiri Decree No. 5 of 2011;Convention on Judicial Cooperation
between states of the Arab League (Riyadh Convention) of 1983;
Arab League Convention on Commercial Arbitration of 1987; and
Gulf Council Convention for the Execution of Judgments, Delegations and Judicial Notifications of 1996 (Gulf Convention).
Is the law governing international arbitration in your country based on the UNCITRAL Model Law? Are there significant differences between the two?
Yes, the Arbitration Law largely follows the UNCITRAL Model Law. However, there are some differences between the two, including:
Article 2(2) of the Arbitration Law introduces a unique requirement: the Prime Minister’s approval must be obtained to conclude arbitration agreements in administrative contracts which can be loosely defined as agreements made with governmental entities for a public benefit.
Public sector entities are prohibited from arbitrating disputes between them under the Arbitration Law (Article 2(2) of the Arbitration Law)
The Arbitration Law includes a provision on the immunity of arbitrators who are immune from liability unless they have acted in bad faith, collusion or gross negligence. (Article 11(11) of the Arbitration Law).
The Arbitration Law requires the tribunal to include within the body of the award a copy of the arbitration agreement (Article 31(3) of the Arbitration Law).
It also requires sending an electronic copy of the award to the administrative department at the Qatari Ministry of Justice (Article 31(11) of the Arbitration Law).
The timeframes to challenge an award, and to seek its correction or interpretation are shorter in the Arbitration Law. A party has to request a correction or interpretation within seven days of the receipt of the award, and the tribunal must then make the same within seven days of the receipt of the request. However, these timelines can be altered if the parties agree to the contrary (Article 32(1) of the Arbitration Law).
The time limit under the Arbitration Law for a party to file a request for annulment is set at one month from the date of the receipt of the final award, as opposed to the three- month period prescribed in the UNCITRAL Model Law (Article 33(4) of the Arbitration Law).
Are there any impending plans to reform the arbitration laws in your country?
What arbitral institutions (if any) exist in your country? When were their rules last amended? Are any amendments being considered?
Qatar has one arbitral institution; Qatar International Centre for Conciliation and Arbitration (QICCA).
The QICCA Rules of Arbitration were first introduced in 2012. No amendments have been made so far. However, given the number of mega projects and the FIFA World Cup 2022, the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry is considering updating the rules to remain consistent and suitable to different parties. This could include a chapter for emergency arbitration as provided in the ICC rules.
Is there a specialist arbitration court in your country?
Two courts have been categorised as the “Competent Court” which parties can agree as the supervisory court pursuant to the Arbitration Law. These are: (i) the Civil and Commercial Arbitration Disputes Circuit of the Qatari Court of Appeal; and (ii) the Court of First Instance of the First Instance of the Civil and Commercial Court of the Qatar Financial Centre. The former is a specialist arbitration court in mainland Qatar, while the latter is the general civil and commercial court of the Qatar Financial Centre.
What are the validity requirements for an arbitration agreement under the laws of your country?
For an arbitration agreement to be valid and enforceable, the following primary criteria apply:
The parties must have capacity to agree to settle the dispute through arbitration (Article 7(1) of the Arbitration Law).
The subject matter of the dispute must be arbitrable (Article 7(2) of the Arbitration Law).
The arbitration agreement must be in writing (Article 7(3) of the Arbitration Law).
In relation to administrative (public works and public procurement) contracts, an arbitration agreement involving a state entity must obtain prior approval from the Prime Minister or risk bearing the arbitration agreement as invalid (see above).
Are arbitration clauses considered separable from the main contract?
Yes, see Article 16(1) of the ArbitrationLaw.
An arbitration agreement can be an independent agreement or can take the form of an arbitration clause within a contract (Article 16(1) of the Arbitration Law). Further, an arbitration clause which is incorporated into a contract by reference to another document is enforceable, provided that the said reference clearly makes that external clause a part of the contract (Article 7(5) of Arbitration Law).
Do the courts of your country apply a validation principle under which an arbitration agreement should be considered valid and enforceable if it would be so considered under at least one of the national laws potentially applicable to it?
No. We are not aware of any precedents where the Qatari courts have applied such a validation principle. Generally, if Qatari law is the substantive law, the Qatari courts will review the enforceability of an arbitration agreement further to the Arbitration Law only.
Is there anything particular to note in your jurisdiction with regard to multi-party or multi-contract arbitration?
The Arbitration Law does not provide any guidance as to dealing with multi-party or multi- contract arbitrations. If it does apply, the same formal requirements for a valid arbitration agreement will apply.
In what instances can third parties or non-signatories be bound by an arbitration agreement? Are there any recent court decisions on these issues?
The Arbitration Law is silent in this regard. However, one essential requirement for the validity of an arbitration agreement is that it must be in writing. Further, in accordance with the general doctrine of privity of contracts specified under Article 175 and 177 of the Law No. 22 of 2004 (“the Civil Code”), the arbitration agreement is binding on the contracting parties and their general successors only. The tribunal can, therefore, assume jurisdictionover third parties in the event of a general succession to a party, unless the parties have agreed otherwise. Article 7(6) of the Arbitration Law provides that the arbitration agreement does not expire with the death of one of the parties, and can continue to be implemented by or against the persons who represent that party, unless otherwise stipulated in a specific legislative provision or by agreement of the parties.
Having said that, we are not aware of any precedents whereby non-signatories were held to be bound by an arbitration agreement.
Are any types of dispute considered non-arbitrable? Has there been any evolution in this regard in recent years?
The Arbitration Law broadly sets out the type of disputes which cannot be arbitrated. We understand these to include disputes relating to marriage, incapacity, guardianship and criminal disputes. Further, the Arbitration Law provides that public entities cannot resort to arbitration for inter se disputes. There have been no further developments in this regard.
How is the law applicable to the substance determined? Is there a specific set of choice of law rules in your country?
The parties are free to agree the substantive law of the dispute, and the tribunal is required to determine the dispute further to the same. If there is no agreement between the parties, the tribunal will use the substantive law which it determines to be applicable further to the conflicts of law rules: see Articles 28(1) and 28(2) of the Arbitration Law. Further, the tribunal may apply principles of justice and fairness in deciding the dispute if the parties have expressly permitted it to do so: see Article 28(3) of the Arbitration Law.
Have the courts in your country applied the UNIDROIT or any other transnational principles as the substantive law? If so, in what circumstances have such principles been applied?
Qatar is not a member of UNIDROIT. Generally, only those international conventions are applied by the courts in Qatar which have been ratified into local law by way of an Emiri Decree. Having said that, if parties agree a foreign substantive law (including transnational principles), the courts will apply the foreign law to the extent that it does not contravene public order in Qatar.
In your country, are there any restrictions in the appointment of arbitrators?
The Arbitration Law provides that the arbitrator/s must be chosen from the list of approved arbitrators maintained with the Ministry of Justice. However, it is also permissible to nominate any person as an arbitrator provided that the person:
is of full legal eligibility and capacity;
has not been finally convicted of a felony or a misdemeanour relating to honesty and character, even if that person’s name is cleared later; and
is of good reputation and conduct.
There are no restrictions regarding nationality (unless the parties agree or the applicable law referred to in the contract states otherwise), religion or gender.
Finally, the tribunal must be composed of an odd number of arbitrators, or the arbitration is null and void (Article 10 of the Arbitration Law).
Are there any default requirements as to the selection of a tribunal?
In the absence of an agreement between the parties to appoint arbitrators, the following applies:
If the arbitration agreement provides for one arbitrator, and the parties fail to agree on the arbitrator within 30 days from the date of the written notice served by the applicant to the other parties in that regard, any of the parties can ask the arbitration institution or the competent court to appoint the arbitrator.
In the case of a three-person arbitral tribunal, each party must appoint one arbitrator. The two appointed arbitrators must then agree to the third arbitrator. The arbitration institution or the competent court, as applicable, appoints the arbitrators on request of either party where either:
either party fails to appoint their respective arbitrators within 30 days from the date of receiving a request in that regard from the other party; or
the arbitrators appointed by the parties fail to appoint the third arbitrator within
30 days from the later dates of their appointment. An application to appoint an arbitrator must be made by notifying all the parties, and must include a summary of the nature of the dispute and the steps taken to appoint the arbitrator.
Can the local courts intervene in the selection of arbitrators? If so, how?
See answer to question 17.
Can the appointment of an arbitrator be challenged? What are the grounds for such challenge? What is the procedure for such challenge?
Article 12 of the Arbitration Law provides that an arbitrator’s appointment can only be challenged if there are reasonable doubts about his or her impartiality or independence, or where he or she does not meet the qualifications agreed upon by the parties. If the other party objects to the challenge, or the arbitrator fails to withdraw, the matter is referred to the Qatari courts or the arbitral institution which is administering the arbitration, as the case may be.
Parties may not appeal against the arbitration institution or court’s decision in removing or refusing to remove an arbitrator. Under Article 13 of the Arbitration Law, an application to remove an arbitrator must be made within 15 days from the date the applicant becomes aware of the arbitrator’s appointment or of the circumstances justifying removal of the arbitrator.
Have there been any recent developments concerning the duty of independence and impartiality of the arbitrators
What happens in the case of a truncated tribunal? Is the tribunal able to continue with the proceedings?
In case of a truncated tribunal, arbitral proceedings can continue subject to the appointment of a substituted arbitrator, further to Articles 14 and 15 of the Arbitration Law.
Are arbitrators immune from liability?
Article 11 of the Arbitration Law grants arbitrators general immunity from liability, unless the arbitrator has acted in bad faith, collusion or gross negligence.
Is the principle of competence-competence recognized in your country?
Yes, the Arbitration Law recognises the principle of kompetenz-kompetenz, by which a party can challenge the jurisdiction of the arbitration tribunal if there is no valid arbitration agreement. Article 16 provides that the arbitral tribunal shall have competence to decide on its own jurisdiction. If a party wishes to challenge the jurisdiction of the arbitral tribunal, it must do so before a defence is submitted. Decisions of the tribunal on its own jurisdictions may be reviewed by the Qatari courts.
What is the approach of local courts towards a party commencing litigation in apparent breach of an arbitration agreement?
Article 8 of the Arbitration Law provides that any challenge to a court’s jurisdiction because of the existence of an arbitration agreement must be submitted at the beginning of the proceeding and before any defence on the merits has been lodged. Where a dispute is subject to an arbitration agreement and is referred to a court, the court must reject that case if such rejection is pleaded by the defendant to the proceedings objects before they submit to the jurisdiction of that respective court.
How are arbitral proceedings commenced in your country? Are there any key provisions under the arbitration laws relating to limitation periods or time bars of which the parties should be aware?
Arbitral proceedings commence on the date on which the respondent receives the request to for arbitration (Article 21 of the Arbitration Law).
There are no provisions in the Arbitration Law dealing with limitation periods for claims. As to procedural time limits, the same is subject to the agreement of the parties.
In what circumstances is it possible for a state or state entity to invoke state immunity in connection with the commencement of arbitration proceedings?
The Arbitration Law is silent in this regard. However, the Arbitration Law states that:
(i) for arbitration agreements in administrative contracts, prior approval of the Prime Minister is required; and
(ii) public entities cannot arbitrate disputes arising between them.
What happens when a respondent fails to participate in the arbitration? Can the local courts compel participation?
The tribunal will continue the proceedings if the respondent fails to provide its statement of defence, unless the parties agreed otherwise (see Article 25(2) of the Arbitration Law). The respondent’s failure to file a defence is not deemed to be its acceptance of the case against it. Therefore, local courts do not compel a respondent to participate. However, in order to ensure the sanctity of an arbitral award rendered in ex parte proceedings, the participating party and the tribunal must ensure that all applicable notification and service requirements are satisfied.
Can third parties voluntarily join arbitration proceedings? If all parties agree to the intervention, is the tribunal bound by this agreement? If all parties do not agree to the intervention, can the tribunal allow for it?
There is no express provision in the Arbitration Law that permits (or disallows) third parties voluntarily to join an arbitration. However, in circumstances where all parties agree to the intervention of a third party, the arbitration agreement can be amended in writing to include the third party (provided that all parties sign the arbitration agreement).
If all parties do not agree to the intervention, and the third party is not a party to the arbitration agreement, then the joinder of the third party is not allowed.
Can local courts order third parties to participate in arbitration proceedings in your country?
No. Please see our comment above.
What interim measures are available? Will local courts issue interim measures pending the constitution of the tribunal?
Pursuant to Article 17(1) of the Arbitration Law, the tribunal can issue provisional measures or interim awards due to the nature of the dispute, or for the purpose of preventing irreparable harm, including any of the following measures:
a. Maintaining or restoring the status quo pending determination of the dispute;
b. Adopting any measure to prevent the occurrence of current or imminent damage, or that would prejudice the arbitration process itself, or to prevent the adoption of procedures that may possibly result in such damage or prejudice;
c. Providing a means of preserving the assets by means of which later awards may be executed; and
d. Preserving evidence that could be important or material to the determination of the dispute. The tribunal may require the party requesting such procedures to submit sufficient security for costs for the provisional measure it orders or the interim award it issues.
An application can be made to the court for any enforcement of an award or order issued by the tribunal, with the tribunal’s permission. Any copies of such request for permission or enforcement needs to be sent to the other party or parties. The Arbitration Law requires the local courts to enforce interim measures granted by a tribunal, unless this violates Qatari law or contravenes public policy.
In situations where the arbitral tribunal, or any other person to whom the Parties have granted certain authority, does not have jurisdiction, or is incapable of acting effectively at the time, a competent judge, on the application of one of the parties, may order interim or precautionary measures, including the measures stipulated in Article 17(1), either before the commencement of or during the arbitral proceedings. Such an application is not deemed to be a waiver by the party of its right to uphold the arbitration agreement.
Are anti-suit and/or anti-arbitration injunctions available and enforceable in your country?
Are there particular rules governing evidentiary matters in arbitration? Will the local courts in your jurisdiction play any role in the obtaining of evidence? Can local courts compel witnesses to participate in arbitration proceedings?
Further to Article 19 of the Arbitration Law, parties are free to decide the rules of evidence that would apply to the arbitration. The tribunal has the authority to determine questions of admissibility, relevance and weight of evidence, subject to the rules agreed by the parties.
Subject to the tribunal’s permission, the tribunal or the parties can request the court’s assistance in the collection of evidence. Arbitral proceedings can be stayed pending the court’s assistance.
Having said that, if the court agrees to the request for assistance, it can exercise the rights accorded to it under the Civil and Commercial Procedures Law (Law No. 13 of 1990), including the summoning of witnesses and penal sanctions for witnesses who fail to respond.
What ethical codes and other professional standards, if any, apply to counsel and arbitrators conducting proceedings in your country?
Law No. 23 of 2006 (“the Advocacy Law”) lays down the professional and ethical rules for lawyers practicing in Qatar and requires practitioners to comply with duties of loyalty, confidentiality and good reputation. The counsel must act with integrity, honour and honesty in both professional and personal conduct. It also requires the lawyers to be Qatari nationals, and duly enrolled with the Lawyers Admission Committee (“LAC”) established with the Ministry of Justice. Non-Qatari lawyers can also practice in Qatar after they receive authorisation from the LAC or if they satisfy the other requirements set out in the Advocacy Law.
An arbitrator is required to be impartial and independent, further to Article 12 of the Arbitration Law. Having said that, an arbitrator will be held liable if they perform their duties in bad faith, collusion or gross negligence (Article 11(11) of the Arbitration Law).
In your country, are there any rules with respect to the confidentiality of arbitration proceedings?
Yes, arbitration proceedings in Qatar are confidential. Arbitral awards cannot be published without the consent of the parties (see Article 31(8) of the Arbitration Law).
How are the costs of arbitration proceedings estimated and allocated?
The tribunal must decide the burden of the arbitration costs in terms of fees and expenses, the party responsible to pay the costs, and the payment procedure, unless the parties agree otherwise (Article 31(4) of the Arbitration Law).
The tribunal takes into account all expenses incurred in the arbitration process, including the administrative fees of the arbitration centre or institution, arbitrators’ fees, legal costs, and other disbursements, and apportions them between the parties under the award on liability. The tribunal can order the unsuccessful party to bear all the costs of arbitration, or part of them.
The factors considered in determining costs include the nature of the dispute, its complexity, and the time and effort required to present the parties’ cases. Qatari law grants the tribunal discretionary power in assessing and determining the costs it deems reasonable, provided that
it bases its decision on solid grounds.
Can pre- and post-award interest be included on the principal claim and costs incurred?
Generally, interest is not allowed in Qatar. However, interest can be awarded if the parties’ underlying agreement permits interest for delayed or defaulted payments.
What legal requirements are there in your country for the recognition and enforcement of an award? Is there a requirement that the award be reasoned, i.e. substantiated and motivated?
The requirements for a valid award are set out in Article 31 of the Arbitration Law, including that an award must be delivered in writing and it must be reasoned, unless the parties agree otherwise or the applicable arbitral rules do not require a reasoned award. It is also required that the award sets out the parties’ details, claims and arguments, as well as the tribunal’s decision as to the merits of the dispute and costs of arbitration.
The enforcement process is set out in Articles 33 and 34 of the Arbitration Law.
For domestic awards, after expiry of the period for filing an annulment request, the winning party can apply to the competent judge seeking an exequatur for the award and its enforcement.
What is the estimated timeframe for the recognition and enforcement of an award? May a party bring a motion for the recognition and enforcement of an award on an ex parte basis?
The timeframe is difficult to estimate. However, in our experience, the recognition and enforcement process may take between 6 to 12 months. Application for enforcement of arbitral awards can continue on ex parte basis, provided that parties have been properly served process.
Does the arbitration law of your country provide a different standard of review for recognition and enforcement of a foreign award compared with a domestic award?
For foreign awards, the recognition and enforcement process is derived from Article 35 of the Arbitration Law, and can be summarised as follows:
First, a lawsuit (rather than an application) must be initiated in the competent court, seeking an exequatur for the award.
The respondent must be duly served to participate in the proceedings; both sides may exchange written submissions and evidence until the court issues a final decision.
If the court accepts the request, it would grant the exequatur and recognise the award, so that it is enforceable in Qatar.
After the exequatur is granted, the judgment creditor can initiate execution proceedings to seek the enforcement of the award.
The grounds for challenging a local and foreign award are substantially similar, since these are derived from the UNCITRAL Model Law and the New York Convention.
Does the law impose limits on the available remedies? Are some remedies not enforceable by the local courts
Qatari law does not restrict the types of remedies available in arbitration, as long as they are not contrary to public policy.
Generally, Qatari law applies the principle of full compensation for the damage suffered (including losses, lost profits and moral damages) (Articles 263 and 264 of the Civil Code). However, contractual liquidated damages are admitted (Article 263 of the Civil Code), and punitive damages do not exist under the Qatari legal system.
Interest is generally not permissible in Qatar. However, if the parties contractually agree to pay interest for late payments, an arbitrator may award interest.
Can arbitration awards be appealed or challenged in local courts? What are the grounds and procedure?
Arbitral awards can be challenged only by a request for annulment in accordance with the provisions of the Arbitration Law. According to the law, the award cannot be appealed on the merits (see Article 33 of the Arbitration Law).
An application for annulment of an arbitral award is only admitted if the applicant provides proof of any of the following (see Article 33 of the Arbitration Law):
A party to the arbitration agreement was, at the time of conclusion, lacking the necessary legal eligibility or capacity under the law agreed to by the parties as the applicable law or under the Arbitration Law, unless the parties agree otherwise.
The applicant was not duly notified of the appointment of an arbitrator or of the arbitration proceedings, or the applicant failed to submit a defence for any reasons falling
beyond the applicant’s control.
The arbitral award has decided matters not covered by, or has gone beyond the limits of, the arbitration agreement. However, if parts of the arbitral award relate to matters
covered by the arbitration agreement and are separable from those not covered, the annulment is only effective with respect to the parts not covered.
The composition of the arbitral tribunal, the appointment of arbitrators or the arbitration proceedings have not occurred in accordance with what the parties agreed to. This is unless the agreement is in conflict with any provision of the Arbitration Law or, if there is no agreement between the parties, where the proceedings were carried out in violation of the Arbitration Law.
The competent court can annul an arbitral award where either the:
Subject matter of the dispute is, under the laws of Qatar, not arbitrable.
Arbitral award involves a violation of the public order of Qatar.
An application for annulment or a request for annulment must be filed within one month from the date of either (see Article 32 of the Arbitration Law):
Delivery of a copy of the arbitral award to the parties.
Summoning the applicant for annulment of the arbitral award.
Issuance of the correction, explanation/interpretation or supplemental award.
The competent court hears the application for annulment after summoning the other party to submit a defence. The court’s ruling on annulment is final and not subject to appeal.
Can the parties waive any rights of appeal or challenge to an award by agreement before the dispute arises (such as in the arbitration clause)?
It is not permissible for the parties to agree to waive the right to file an annulment action.
To what extent might a state or state entity successfully raise a defence of state or sovereign immunity at the enforcement stage?
The Arbitration Law is silent on this matter. However, Article 57 of the Civil Code specifies that moveable and immoveable property of the state, allocated for a public benefit will be deemed to be public funds and thus, cannot be disposed of, attached or acquired, unless for a public benefit. This could suggest that state entities providing public benefit might be immune from execution.
In what instances can third parties or non-signatories be bound by an award? To what extent might a third party challenge the recognition of an award?
Only signatories (and their successors) to an arbitration agreement are bound by the arbitral award resulting therefrom.
Have courts in your jurisdiction considered third party funding in connection with arbitration proceedings recently?
We are not aware of any instances where the courts have considered third party funding.
Is emergency arbitrator relief available in your country? Is this frequently used?
Are there arbitral laws or arbitration institutional rules in your country providing for simplified or expedited procedures for claims under a certain value? Are they often used?
Have measures been taken by arbitral institutions in your country to promote transparency in arbitration?
Is diversity in the choice of arbitrators and counsel (e.g. gender, age, origin) actively promoted in your country? If so, how?
Qatar is a multi-cultural society and has an arbitration market which comprises parties, lawyers and arbitrators from various jurisdictions. Diversity is promoted. For instance, the panel of arbitrators of QICCA is frequently updated with an increasing number of foreign arbitrators, irrespective of gender, age and origin. Likewise, there are several international and regional law firms providing a diverse range of lawyers from common law and civil law backgrounds.
Have there been any recent court decisions in your country considering the setting aside of an award that has been enforced in another jurisdiction or vice versa?
Since the promulgation of the Arbitration Law, we are not aware of any instances where the Qatari courts have set an aside an award which was enforced in another jurisdiction.
Have there been any recent court decisions in your country considering the issue of corruption? What standard do local courts apply for proving of corruption? Which party bears the burden of proving corruption?
Since the promulgation of the Arbitration Law, we are not aware of any such decisions of the Qatari courts.
Have there been any recent court decisions in your country considering the definition and application of “public policy” in the context of enforcing or setting aside an arbitral award?
Have there been any recent court decisions in your country considering the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union in Slovak Republic v Achmea BV (Case C-284/16) with respect to intra-European Union bilateral investment treaties or the Energy Charter Treaty? Are there any pending decisions?
Have there are been any recent decisions in your country considering the General Court of the European Union’s decision Micula & Ors (Joined Cases T-624/15, T-694/15 and T-694.15), ECLI:EU:T:2019:423, dated 18 June 2019? Are there any pending decisions?
What measures, if any, have arbitral institutions in your country taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic?
On 17 March 2020, 26 March 2020 and 27 April 2020, QICCA issued circulars to its users and members, and to lawyers and other parties. Those circulars, in summary, notified that QICCA officials would be working remotely until further notice, and only a limited number of its employees would be attending its offices – daily between 10 am and 12 pm – in order to receive those submissions and documents which are otherwise impossible to deliver by electronic means. QICCA had also urged the tribunals operating under its auspices to direct parties to use electronic means to communicate with them and other parties, further to the powers given to the tribunals under the QICCA Rules. In a similar vein, parties were encouraged to submit their notices of arbitration, pleadings and other submissions via email. Where this was impossible, parties could submit the same in soft copy using a portable storage device, such as a USB flash drive. Tribunals and parties were also advised to conduct hearings, whether procedural or evidentiary, via video conferencing.
In your country, does the insolvency of a party affect the enforceability of an arbitration agreement?
According to Article 647 of Law No. 27 of 2006 (Commercial Law), a decision of bankruptcy stays any suits brought by creditors. They cannot finalise their own proceedings before adjudication of bankruptcy or take an individual enforcement proceeding against assets of the bankrupt party. Mortgage and/or special lien creditors can bring or continue its actions against the receiver as appointed by the court, and can proceed to enforce their rights against the assets of the bankrupt.
Is your country a Contracting Party to the Energy Charter Treaty? If so, has it expressed any specific views as to the current negotiations on the modernization of the Treaty?
No. Qatar is not a contracting party to the Energy Charter Treaty. However, Qatar currently has the status of an observer.
Have there been any recent developments in your jurisdiction with regard to disputes on climate change and/or human rights?
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