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The Judicial Authority

The judicial authority is vested in courts of law in accordance with the provisions of the constitution; and courts judgments are pronounced in the name of the Emir. Article 129 of the constitution stipulates that the supremacy of law is the base of rule in the state; and the honor of the judiciary, its integrity and the impartiality of judges are a safeguard of rights and liberties. The judicial authority is independent and is vested in courts of different types and grades. The courts make their judgments according to the law. Judges are independent. They are not subject to any power in the exercise of their judicial functions as provided by the law; and no interference whatsoever is permitted with court proceedings and the course of justice. Court sessions are open to the public save when a court decides, for the interest of public order or morality, to hold them in camera. In all cases, the pronouncement of judgments is made in an open session.

Judges are not subject to removal from office save in cases specified by the law. The said law also specifies the rules and disciplinary matters applicable to judges. The right of litigation is inviolable and is guaranteed to all people. The law specifies the procedures and manners of exercising this right. The judiciary shall have a supreme council to supervise the proper functioning of courts of law and their auxiliary organs. The law determines the composition, powers and functions of the said council. The law determines the competent body entrusted with the settlement of administrative disputes and defines its structure and manner of discharging its functions. The law specifies the competent judicial body for settling the disputes pertaining to the constitutionality of laws and regulations, defines its powers and methods of challenging and procedures to be followed before the said body. It also specifies the consequences of judgment regarding unconstitutionality.

Public Prosecution

Public Prosecution conducts public actions in the name of the people, supervises the law enforcement and ensures the enforcement of criminal laws. The law specifies the conditions and guarantees pertaining to the staff discharging the functions of the same.

The Judiciary

The judicial authority law, issued in 2003, defines the manner in which courts of law shall play their role in the society. It stipulates that Judges are independent and shall not be subject to removal from office save in cases specified by the law; and the independence of the judiciary is inviolable and is protected by law against interference from other authorities.

Courts of law are divided into the following categories:

1- Court of Cassation has chambers to decide on cases of objection for cassation on rulings and proceedings of the law.

2- 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.

3- 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 supreme council.

The following decisions were taken regarding the organization of the judiciary functions:

  • Decision No (1) for 2002 on the introduction of a laborers chamber at the upper civil court to hear the cases filed by laborers demanding the rights stipulated by their work contracts.
  • Decision No (62) for 2002 of the president of courts of justice to introduce a fourth chamber at the courts of appeal to hear all the appeals on sentences of major crimes.
  • Forming a committee to accept and categorize the experts before courts of justice.
  • Approval of registration conditions of accountant experts before courts of justice.
  • Forming the committee of representatives of the courts of justice at the national project for the development of public services in the State.
  • Introducing a seventh chamber at the lower criminal court specializing in search and follow up cases.
  • Establishing an information center at the courts of justice; developing several databases on the sentences issued by the various court chambers and setting up a special administrative, financial and accounting system for the administrative and financial affairs department.
  • Issuing the judiciary act No (10) of 2003 that provides for the introduction of new bodies such as the court of cassation, which will complete the judicial hierarchy in the state. A technical bureau, a department for the judicial inspection and some other bodies will be introduced for the first time following the establishment of this court.

The Judiciary Supreme Council

The judiciary Supreme Council was set up in 1999 to ensure the independence of the judiciary. It discharges the following functions:

  • Giving opinion on issues related to the judiciary, and studying and proposing the special legislation to develop the judicial system.
  • Giving opinion on the appointment, promotion, transference, secondment and retirement of judges in accordance with the law.
  • Deciding on the grievances related to judges affairs, where the council's decision shall be final.
  • Discharging other functions vested in it by any other law, besides the matters that the president of the Judiciary Supreme Council decides to bring to the council's attention.

Presidency of Courts of Justice

A president is appointed for the courts of justice to discharge the following functions:

1- Organize judiciary work at courts of law and distribute work duties between the judges.

2- Assign any of the judges of the courts of justice to undertake the duties of any other judge of these courts on a temporary basis.

3- Take the decision on disciplinary actions to be taken against the employees of the courts of justice in accordance with the general civil service law.

The president of courts of justice is the only official to report to the Minister of Justice on administrative and financial organizational aspects, supervision and inspection affairs at the courts of law, in addition to supervising the behavior of judges and managing and inspecting their financial and administrative affairs.

Presidency of Shari'a Courts

The Presidency is composed of the following main administrative units:

  • 1st chamber
  • 2nd chamber.

2- Preliminary Shari'a court which comprises the following chambers:

  • Marital affairs and rights.
  • Major crimes and doctrinal provisions (hudood)
  • Legacies
  • Shari'a archives
  • Sentence execution

3- Administrative and Financial Affairs

4- The Technical Office

5- The Judicial Inspection Office

The most outstanding achievements in the field of the judiciary:

Organizing two judicial forums: the first in 2002 under the headline (Justice for All) and the second in 2002 under the headline (The Role of Experts in Settling Disputes - the limits and controls of this role).

  • Appointing and training a number of Qatari judges.
  • Organizing training courses for judges on the use of computer and courses for assistants and aides of judges at the legal studies institute to upgrade their efficiency.
  • Opening a branch of The Center for Marriage Counseling at the Shari'a courts premises to refer some divorce cases thereto to be studied by the experts of the branch.
  • Commencing the implementation of the judiciary act provisions stipulating the merger of Shari'a courts and the courts of justice in one unified body.
  • Developing an electronic judicial documentation program for the department.