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Expanded Jurisdiction of Qatar International Court to Include the Qatar Free Zones Comes into Effect

October 20 2021

The expansion of the Qatar International Court and Dispute Resolution Centre (QICDRC) jurisdiction to include disputes within Qatar Free Zones as regulated by the Qatar Free Zones Authority, as well as relevant entities and individuals, came into effect on 13th October 2021. It follows last month’s issuance of Law No. 15 of 2021 on the jurisdictional expansion, effectively broadening the Court’s contribution to international justice and the creation of an attractive commercial, financial, and business ecosystem in Qatar for investors and foreign direct investment.

H.E. Ahmad Al-Sayed, Minister of State and Chairman of QFZA, said: “This jurisdictional expansion comes at an ideal time, as the number of companies registered in the free zones is continuing to grow steadily and within a short period since the authority’s establishment, creating a network of companies from around the world. QFZA has regulations in place covering all our investors’ diverse needs, and QICDRC will play a key role in further enhancing the legal framework offered to companies operating with us.

The expansion is also testament to the continued investment and ongoing growth witnessed in Qatar Free Zones. With support from QICDRC, we look forward to welcoming companies of all sizes to explore all that Qatar and the free zones have to offer.” he added.

QICDRC CEO, Faisal Al-Sahouti, said: “The expansion has solidified the QICDRC’s active role in Qatar’s economic growth and foreign direct investment. Qatar Free Zones will play the role of a strategic gateway to the Middle East region through several key sectors, including logistics, technology, advanced mobility, maritime, in addition to manufacturing and other fields, through its pioneering logistics services that ensure the continuity of global trade and investment. We are proud to provide our services to all the entities and individuals working under QFZA’s umbrella.”

In line with international dispute resolution standards, QICDRC is a modern, specialist, Civil and Commercial Court that brings cases in front of globally renowned, independent judges. Known for its quick, economic and impartial resolution of business disputes, QICDRC is led by the President of the Court, The Rt. Hon Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, and supported by the judges of the Court and Regulatory Tribunal. They hail from a variety of jurisdictions, including Qatar, the United Kingdom, Cyprus, New Zealand, Singapore, India, Kuwait, Hong Kong, South Africa, and the United States of America.

 

Services

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    The Court’s independent judiciary is comprised of a civil and commercial court and a Regulatory Tribunal that specialises in regulatory appeals.

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    The Court administers swift, fair, cost-effective and enforceable judgements in line with global best practice, delivered by a distinguished panel of local and international judges.

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    The Court offers mediation services to individuals, businesses, and others, whether located in Qatar or abroad. This is a voluntary process involving an independent third party (‘the mediator’) who helps the parties reach an amicable settlement in respect to their dispute.

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    Through its supervisory arbitrational jurisdiction under Law No 2 of 2017 issuing the Arbitration Law in Civil and Commercial Matters, parties can elect the QICDRC as the “Competent Court” of arbitration to perform various functions in relation to interim measures, enforcement of awards and appeals.

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    eCourt, QICDRC’s innovative electronic case management system, offers globally-accessible virtual hearing capabilities and live-streaming services.

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