Doha, March 14, 2017
The International Chamber of Commerce Qatar in association with Sultan Al-Abdulla & Partners held a panel discussion on “Qatar’s New Arbitration Law”, the third in ICC Qatar’s newly launched monthly “Arbitration Series” as part of the 2017 programme of its Commission on Arbitration and ADR
The panel discussed the historical context of arbitration in Qatar and the development of arbitration in both public and private sector contracts and the new procedures conventions in the light of Law No. 2 for the year 2017 specialised in arbitration in civil and commercial matters, implications for arbitration agreements, procedural aspects of the new law and the role of Qatar courts in arbitral proceedings.
The panel was chaired by Mr. Sultan Al-Abdulla, managing partner of Sultan Al-Abdulla & Partners, who provided an overview of commercial arbitration and its origins in the State of Qatar, where he said that the interest in arbitration has grown in the GCC countries over the past few years due to the increased numbers of contracts for major projects necessitating the need for an alternative mechanism to resolve disputes arising out of commercial transactions contracts.
Mr. Al-Abdulla divided legislation regarding arbitration in the GCC countries into three types: legislations that are embodied in procedural laws; legislations that adopt the UNCITRAL Model Law on Arbitration issued in 1985 as is without modifications; and legislations that are inspired by the UNCITRAL Model Law but with a national vision.
Mr. William Cattan, Senior Partner in Sultan Al-Abdulla & Partners pointed out the changes introduced by the new Arbitration Law versus the current provisions in the Procedures Law.
Dr. Yassin El-Shazly, Associate Dean for Outreach and Community Engagement, Qatar University College of Law, focused on disputes relating to administrative contracts, the role of the QFC courts and role of the Ministry of Justice.
Mr. Salman Mahmoud, Partner and Mr. Hassan El-Shafiey, Senior Associate at Sultan Al-Abdulla & Partners focused on the procedural aspects of the law and the difference between institutional arbitration and ad hoc arbitration and the establishment of arbitration centers and branches of foreign arbitration centers in Qatar within the context of the new law.
Commenting on the panel, H.E. Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim Al Thani, Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce Qatar and Executive Board Member of ICC International Secretariat mentioned that one of the main roles of ICC Qatar is to raise awareness of modern laws and national legislation that are issued and related to the economic and commercial activity in the state. He praised the new arbitration law for creating a successful investment climate in the state. He added that since the launch of Qatar National Vision 2030, the state has worked to modernize the laws and legislation to match the goals of this vision to transform Qatar’s economy into a diversified and sustainable one. Sheikh Khalifa further highlighted that achieving these goals go hand in hand with realizing the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, an important initiative that will lead to a better world for all.
Sultan Al-Abdulla commented “We at Sultan Al-Abdulla & Partners are very pleased to cooperate with the ICC Qatar Commission in delivering this event. The number of attendees is indicative of the great and growing interest in arbitration in Qatar. The timing of the event is fortuitous in that in came only days after the new arbitration law has been issued by His Highness the Emir. We believe more events will be required to engage the arbitration community and to develop a better collective understanding of the various provisions of the new law.” Sultan Al-Abdulla said.
Mr. Charbel Maakaron, Head of the ICC Qatar Commission on Arbitration and ADR and Managing Partner of the Doha office of Squire Patton Boggs, said: “the topic and timing of the session is very relevant and important for both the legal and business communities.” He added: “as expected, we have a wonderful turn-out today, which underscores that the commission’s decision to organize these sessions, the chosen topics and opening to the public, was a sound approach. These sessions would not have been possible without the support of HE Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim Al Thani. This is our third session, with three more to go, all of which enjoyed a very strong attendance from the academic, legal and business communities, and covered various topics relating to commercial arbitration. The remaining sessions will be in April and May.”
The ICC Qatar “Arbitration Series” follows the Commission’s charge to foster the development of trade and investment between Qatar and the international business community. It has been designed to help inform not only arbitration practitioners but professionals across the entire Qatari community from businesses, governmental agencies and public and private sectors to students.
About International Chamber of Commerce Qatar (ICC Qatar)
ICC Qatar works to connect local businesses to the world – and the world to the businesses of Qatar. As part of the world largest business organisation, ICC Qatar advances the interests of the Qatar business community in trade, investment, industrial and international relations. For more information, visit www.iccqatar.org