The role of the Civil and Commercial Court of Qatar Financial Centre under the New Arbitration Law No. 2 of 2017
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The Civil and Commercial Court of the Qatar Financial Centre (“the QFC Court”) was established by virtue of the Qatar Financial Centre Law No. 7 of 2005 as amended by Law No. 2 of 2009 (“the QFC Law”). The QFC Court has limited jurisdiction over specific subject matters. Under the QFC Law, and the QFC Court Regulations and Procedural Rules, the QFC Court has jurisdiction over civil and commercial disputes which arise from transactions, contracts, arrangements or incidences which take place in or from the Qatar Financial Centre and which are between parties that are established in the QFC. The QFC Court will also hear disputes which relate to civil and commercial disputes between a QFC established entity and contractors and/or employees of the QFC entity. In the case of contractors, what this means is that the contractor does not need to be established in the QFC but in fact may be established anywhere in the world. The QFC Court will also hear disputes which involve an entity established in the QFC and an entity established in the State of Qatar. However, under Law No. 2 of 2017 “Issuing the Law of Arbitration in Civil and Commercial Matters” (the “New Arbitration Law”), the QFC Court has been conferred with additional powers to discharge certain supportive and supervisory functions over arbitrations seated in the State of Qatar, only if it is chosen by the parties as the Competent Court in the arbitration agreement. This is an important development as it allows the parties, inter alia, to utilise the QFC Court, which is modelled on leading international commercial courts, in relation to the arbitral proceedings, and to work under procedures similar to those found in common law systems. The QFC Court’s new functions under the New Arbitration Law include the appointment of arbitrators in Articles 11(5)(a) and 11(5)(b), the removal of arbitrators (Article 13(1)), decisions on arbitral jurisdiction (after the tribunal has already decided) (Article 16(3)), assistance in taking evidence (Article 27(1)), and the setting aside of arbitral awards (Article 33(2)). This article examines the jurisdiction of the QFC Court in relation to arbitration under the New Arbitration Law, key differences between the QFC Court procedures and other State Court procedures, and the importance of a well-drafted forum selection clause to confer jurisdiction on the QFC Court.
- International Review of Law [96 items ]