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Concept Of Legal Privilege In Qatar


Shari’a law is the main source of legislation in Qatar (“Islamic Religious Law”). This is stated in the Permanent Article I.

“Qatar State Constitution (“Constitution”), which states that “Qatar is an independent Arab sovereign state and that the citizens of Qatar are part of the Arab country. Its religion is Islam and the primary root of its rules is Shari’a law (Islamic Religious Law). His political process is democratic.

From time to time, the Government of the State of Qatar issues rules and regulations with the aim of supplementing Islamic Religious Law when the need arises. Articles 105 and 106 of the Constitution grant the power to submit bills to each member of the Council of the State of Qatar. Once the Council has reviewed and approved a draft bill, and subsequently the Government, the definitions of legal professional privilege and ‘without discrimination’ communications do not exist per se in many civil law jurisdictions in the MENA region, and the parties have the right to use any document that could help their role in civil litigation. This is the position in the State of Qatar that has no explicit rule in respect of legal professional privilege. Instead,

In fact, lawyers in the State of Qatar are bound by confidentiality obligations that incorporate principles similar to legal professional privilege in many instances.


Legal professional scope

Legal professional privilege prevents any correspondence without the client’s consent between a professional legal adviser and their client from being revealed. The privilege is purely for the client’s advantage and not for the lawyer. The purpose of this legal concept is to secure the access of a person to the justice system through ensuring that all relevant details may be disclosed to lawyer ceases to be bound by the legal professional privilege standards if that documentation or knowledge can be demonstrated by the lawyer:

  • At the time it was revealed to the prosecutor, it was in the public domain;

  • Entered the public domain through no fault of the lawyer after the time it was revealed to the lawyer; or
  • Was free of any duty of trust in the hands of the lawyer at the time it was revealed to the lawyer, evidenced by documents at the time of disclosure.

Notwithstanding the lawyer-client privilege, to the degree that such disclosure is needed by a valid order of a court or other governmental body having jurisdiction, a lawyer may disclose such documents/information provided that the lawyer provides the client with fair prior written notice of such disclosure and makes a reasonable effort to obtain a protective order preventing or restricting such disclosure

The principle of legal professional privilege in the State of Qatar, according to Article 51 of the Qatar Code of Law Practice, is restricted to the professional relationship between a lawyer and his client through the duty of the lawyer to keep confidential all details revealed by his client.

In addition, Article 265 of the Qatar Code of Civil and Commercial Practice forbids a lawyer or an attorney from revealing information they receive in accordance with their professional retainer. Fundamentally, even after the professional has terminated their retainer with the client, the duty of confidentiality remains in effect.

It appears that in-house legal counsel representing officers, directors or employees of the company do not have the same privilege rights as they are not independent of the client. A critical point to consider is that neither the Code of Law Practice nor the Code of Civil and Commercial Procedure apply to in-house legal counsel who offer employment-based services. In-house lawyers are in-house

Although it can be assumed that within the Qatar Financial Centre (‘QFC’) the principle of legal professional privilege will be more generally applicable (due to the common law basis of its jurisdiction), there are currently no references to the concept in the QFC legal corpus.