ICC Qatar holds panel on new arbitration law

ICC Qatar holds panel on new arbitration law
The panel discussed the historical context of arbitration in Qatar.
Published: 19 March 2017 - 3 a.m.
By: Rajiv Ravindran Pillai

The International Chamber of Commerce Qatar (ICC Qatar), in association with Sultan Al-Abdulla & Partners, held a panel discussion on the country's new arbitration law.

The meeting formed part of the third in ICC Qatar’s monthly Arbitration Series, Gulf Times reported.

The panel discussed the historical context of arbitration in Qatar and its development in both public and private sector contracts, and the new procedures conventions in 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 discussion was chaired by Sultan al-Abdulla, managing partner of Sultan Al-Abdulla & Partners, who provided an overview of commercial arbitration and its origins in Qatar. He said that interest in arbitration has grown in GCC countries over the past few years due to increased numbers of contracts for major projects necessitating the need for an alternative mechanism to resolve disputes arising out of commercial transaction contracts.

Al-Abdulla noted that legislation on arbitration in GCC countries is divided into three types: legislations that are embodied in procedural laws, legislations that adopt the Uncitral Model Law on Arbitration issued in 1985 without modifications, and legislations that are inspired by the Uncitral Model Law but with a national vision.

William Cattan, senior partner with Sultan Al-Abdulla & Partners, compared the changes introduced by the new arbitration law with the current provisions in the ‘procedures law’. Dr Yassin el-Shazly, associate dean for outreach and community engagement at Qatar University College of Law, focussed on disputes relating to administrative contracts, the role of the QFC courts, and role of the Ministry of Justice.

Salman Mahmoud, partner, and Hassan el-Shafiey, senior associate at Sultan Al-Abdulla & Partners, focussed on the procedural aspects of the law and the difference between institutional arbitration and ad hoc arbitration and the establishment of arbitration centres and branches of foreign arbitration centres in Qatar within the context of the new law.

ICC Qatar chairman, Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim al-Thani, who is also executive board member of ICC International Secretariat, said one of the main roles of ICC Qatar was 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, adding that since the launch of the Qatar National Vision 2030, the state has worked to modernise the laws and legislation to match the goals of this vision to transform Qatar’s economy into a diversified and sustainable one.

Charbel Maakaron, head of the ICC Qatar Commission on Arbitration and ADR and managing partner of Squire Patton Boggs Doha office, commented: “The topic and timing of the session is very relevant and important for both the legal and business communities.”

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