Strengthening parties’ confidence in selecting the Qatar International Court and Dispute Resolution Centre (QICDRC) as the competent court of arbitration, its First Instance Circuit has issued a Note of its Ruling in the case of C v D, clarifying its jurisdiction under the new Arbitration Law in Civil and Commercial Matters (No 2 of 2017).
The law allows parties to elect the First Instance Circuit of the Qatar International Court as the “competent court” of the arbitration, performing various supportive and supervisory functions in relation to the arbitration proceedings as required.
In C v D, the applicant applied for interim relief in circumstances where it had not yet been possible to commence arbitration proceedings in accordance with the arbitration agreement concluded between the parties.
Although neither party was registered in the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), they had, by virtue of their arbitration agreement, decided that the Qatar International Court would be the court of the seat of arbitration. As a result, the court determined that it had the jurisdiction to deal with the application, although it declined to grant the relief sought.
A number of legal practitioners in Qatar have already welcomed the ruling, observing that it brings clarity to an area of the law that was previously untested.
QICDRC chief executive officer, Faisal Rashid al-Sahouti said, “Since the welcome enactment of Law No 2 of 2017, parties who seat their arbitrations in Qatar have been able to elect the Qatar International Court as the competent court of arbitration. We have published, on the QICDRC website, a model clause that parties can use for this purpose. The recent ruling confirms the Court’s jurisdiction to act as the competent judicial authority once the parties have elected it to perform that role, regardless of where the parties themselves are located.”