Islam is Qatar's official religion, and Islamic jurisprudence, the Shar'ia, is recognized as the basis of the country's legal system. Civil legislation is based upon codification. As stated in the provisional Constitution, Qatar is a monarchy with full powers vested in the Emir as the Head of State.
Several courts administrate Justice: the Higher Criminal Court, the Lower Criminal Court, the Commercial and Civil Court, the Labor Court and the Court of Appeal. In addition, the Shar'ia Courts determine matters regarding the personal status of Muslims and civil cases where the parties submit themselves to the jurisdiction of the Shar'ia Courts. The jurisdiction of the Civil Court covers all civil and commercial disputes. There are no monetary limitations regarding the referral of disputes to the Civil Court to be heard by a single justice. Judicial independence is guaranteed by the Provisional Constitution.
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)