The Islamic finance sector, which is worth “over $22.1tn,” requires “special technical understanding,” especially when resolving disputes through arbitration, an official of the Qatar International Centre for Conciliation and Arbitration (Qicca) has said.
Qicca board member for International Relations Sheikh Dr Thani bin Ali al-Thani made the statement in relation to ‘Legal Week’, a series of webinars organised by the centre that will run until April 1.
Sheikh Thani noted that the webinars are open to the public; the topics to be discussed during the sessions range from Islamic finance, arbitration, corporate law, and cybersecurity, among others.
Speaking to Gulf Times in an exclusive interview, Sheikh Thani said: “The importance of seeking arbitration, with reference to Islamic banking disputes in particular, stems from the fact that Islamic banking products are of special technical nature that requires special technical understanding.
“Choosing an arbitration tribunal composed of Islamic jurists and scholars is the suitable mechanism and appropriate means for settlement of disputes that could arise in relation to Islamic banking disputes.”

Qicca general counsel Dr Minas Khatchadourian. PICTURE: Jayan Orma

According to Sheikh Thani, the Islamic finance sector is predominately centralised around the Middle East, Africa, and the Southeast Asian regions, and “is presently worth more than $2.1tn.”
In terms of the financial instruments available in the industry, Sheikh Thani noted that there are profit-and-loss sharing partnerships or ‘mudarabah’, profit-and-loss sharing joint ventures (musharakah), and leasing (ijarah) arrangements, to name a few.
Also available are Shariah-compliant fixed-income instruments or ‘sukuk’ and insurance arrangements (takaful), he also said.
“Irrespective of the product offering, it is imperative for any Shariah product to maintain compliance with Shariah principles throughout the lifecycle of the Islamic finance transaction,” Sheikh Thani explained.
Qicca general counsel Dr Minas Khatchadourian stated that the centre aims to make ‘Legal Week’ an institutional event to be held annually every last week of March.
“By the diversity of its topics, ‘Legal Week’ is designed to facilitate maximum participation and provide optimal value to those taking part in the sessions. Our experienced panels of legal experts will provide updates on Islamic banking, cybersecurity, and the practices and trends on arbitration in Qatar and in Arab countries,” Khatchadourian explained.
He added: “This event gathers together the legal community for a week of academic debates and professional exchange, welcoming over 600 remote participants from Qatar and many other Arab countries. This first-time event shall gather 21 speakers and five moderators during the series. The webinars will run from 11am to 2pm.”
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