By Ayman Adly/Staff Reporter
Al-Meezan, Qatar’s comprehensive legal e-portal, was officially launched by the Minister of Justice HE Hassan bin Abdullah al-Ghanem at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) yesterday.
“The portal has an English interface which makes legal information accessible through one of the most common languages and thus broadens the scope of benefit. It also provides a voice system for the benefit of those with special needs. Further, it has an Arabic-English dictionary that includes a legal terminology,” said al-Ghanem.
The minister said that the portal included all the major laws of Qatar that have been issued since 1961 alongside the verdicts of the supreme court, principles of jurisprudence, punitive issues and other related information that help people to form a sound concept and take the proper decisions.
He stressed that the joint efforts of the strategic partnership between the ministry and the Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology (ictQatar) have produced a new age in the field of legal information represented in the portal.
“A delegation from the US Congress attended the launch as we have co-operation with the Congress library. Also, Qatar is one of the strongest candidates to host the GLIN, (Global Legal Information Network), and we are in a very advanced stage on the issue,” said al-Ghanem.
“Al-Meezan is considered the first official Qatari portal to publish all laws and legislations of the country making them accessible for all, individuals and companies, which would support economy and attract investment. Further, it would enhance judicial transparency and sustain the competitiveness of the country,” said Hasan Jassim al-Sayid, assistant secretary general of governmental programmes,
David S Mao, Law Libertarian of the US Congress, said the portal is a commendable effort and an evident of Qatar’s commitment to the guiding principle that citizens have the right to know the laws that govern them. He pointed out that transparent governments are those that make their laws, regulations, and decisions open for all to see.
“By offering free access to its legal information, Qatar is setting an example for other governments in the region and throughout the world,” he said.
“We are delighted that MoJ is ready and willing to assume the administration of GLIN. Indeed the entire GLIN membership sees Qatar as a benefiting successor and voted earlier this year to accept MoJ as the new leader of this international network,” added Mao.
He expected that GLIN would have a promising future under the administration of Qatar for it has the resources and capabilities to meet the expectations of both the members and the global public.
Omar Ebaid, manager of portal and information services at the company that worked in the project, said that the new portal has around 40,000 pages of legislations, 13,000 laws and more than 500 judicial rulings as well as various other related issues.
“The project took around 20 months and it includes all the issues of the official gazette with advanced search tools,” said Ebaid.
He said that the portal would be highly instrumental for investors and searchers as it would be updated with laws modifications and related administrative regulations. In the meantime, the sophisticated search tools of the portal in Arabic and English would maximize the benefit of the users to save time.