His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani yesterday issued Law No 1 of 2018, which grants clients the right to lodge a complaint against their lawyer.
The new legislation amends some provisions of the Law Practice Act promulgated by Law 23 of 2006, the official Qatar News Agency (QNA) has reported.
The law provides for expanding the scope of the Department of State Affairs at the Ministry of Justice to include public bodies and institutions, as well as ministries and other government agencies, in addition to regulating the work of legal officers in private companies and institutions by granting them the right to provide legal advice and the drafting, registration and documentation of contracts, according to QNA.
The law requires obtaining a licence from the lawyers’ acceptance committee for non-Qatari lawyers who work in Qatari legal firms to appear before courts. It also adds new requirements for the registration of lawyers who have worked in the judiciary and/or the prosecution, setting the duration of judicial work at no less than five years and specifying the need to pass the personal interview and tests set by the committee, the report explains.
The law requires lawyers applying for registration at the courts of Appeal and Cassation to submit the necessary documents to register and inform the committee of their previous work, in addition to completing the work tenure before lower courts.
Further, the law details the registration requirements before the Court of Cassation for the categories of employees in government and private bodies, in terms of duration and nature of the work and in accordance with the regulations issued by HE the Minister of Justice.
Law No 1 of 2018 grants the client the right to lodge a complaint against his/her lawyer and get it investigated by the committee. It also specifies the jurisdiction and competence of the disciplinary board of lawyers formed by a decision of the Supreme Judiciary Council in terms of lawyers’ accountability, imposing the necessary penalties on them and considering suspending them from practising the profession.
Also, the law allows for the payment of bonus to the lawyer under training to include, in addition to training at the Centre for Legal and Judicial Studies, the duration of training in one of the law offices.
The new legislation, meanwhile, obliges law firms to have websites and also considers owning stakes and shares in joint stock companies to be outside the scope of the ban on trade, QNA adds.
The law extends the guarantees granted to lawyers regarding their access to documents of cases, lawsuits and investigation papers, and allows for the possibility of an agreement between the lawyer and client on the condition that fees entitlement remains pending vis-à-vis winning the claim.
The law is to be effective and published in the official gazette.
In March 2017, the Cabinet had approved a draft law amending some provisions of the Law Practice Act promulgated by Law 23 of 2006, and decided to refer it to the Advisory Council.
Then, in June, the council discussed a report of the Legal and Legislative Affairs Committee on the draft law and decided to submit its recommendations to the Cabinet.
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