The Qatar International Court and Dispute Resolution Centre (QICDRC) and the Qatar Free Zone Authority (QFZA) have signed an agreement that would expand QICDRC’s jurisdiction to cover entities operating under the QFZA.

The new partnership agreement, which will be announced in a law that will be issued later this year, “exemplifies an unprecedented expansion of the court’s jurisdiction since its establishment, and further advances its position locally and regionally as a specialised judicial authority,” QICDRC CEO Faisal Rashid al-Sahouti said in a media roundtable on Monday.

Al-Sahouti explained that the signing of the new agreement will be indicative of an active market and comes as a testament to the rapid growth witnessed in the local economy in the past several years, both in the private and public sectors.

“The announcement of the new agreement exemplifies the rapid growth of QICDRC in the past 10 years and comes as a reflection of the significant increase in the economic activities in Qatar as part of the economic development plans of the Qatar National Vision 2030.

“Amid the evident growth of the Qatari economy, QICDRC’s main mission continues to focus on ensuring an effective and fast delivery of justice and establishing an authoritative legal framework that helps advance Qatar’s reputation as a trustworthy business environment,” al-Sahouti said.

During the media roundtable, al-Sahouti presented insights into the court’s journey since its establishment in 2009, and discussed the QICDRC’s development plans in light of its 10th anniversary.

“QICDRC’s 10th anniversary is a chance to reiterate our commitment to support QFC’s (Qatar Financial Centre) mission to attract foreign business to the country and Qatar’s economic diversification efforts by providing a specialised judicial system,” he stressed.

“The legal system adopted at QICDRC is a key attraction to international companies and investments that look to expand their work to Qatar and want the assurance of a specialised, foreseeable, and efficient legal system that they can resort to in the case of legal disputes,” he continued.

Al-Sahouti also stressed that QFC Law No 2 of 2009 established the court and gave it the power to enforce its judgments. However, it was not until 2015 that QICDRC started receiving applications from litigants requesting it to enforce the issued judgments.

He said the court’s ability to enforce its judgments against entities that are not registered under the QFC gives the model an advantage over similar legal models in the region and ensures the effective delivery of justice.

“As opposed to similar judicial models in the region, QICDRC’s jurisdiction extends to enforcing a judgment against a non-QFC registered entity litigating against a QFC-registered entity beyond the geographical boundaries of the QFC, making QICDRC a distinguished legal model for the entire region,” al-Sahouti emphasised.

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