Browsing 'laws' News

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All residents should carry their Qatar ID card with them at all times, or face a fine of up to QR10,000 ($2,746), the head of the Ministry of Interior’s Search and Follow Up Department has warned.

Brig. Nasser Mohamed Eisa al-Sayed made the comment during a recent meeting with community leaders, Gulf Times reports.

UPDATE | Thursday, July 11, 12:45pm

The Director of the SFD, Brigadier Nasser Mohamed Eisa Al Sayed, has clarified that not carrying your ID with you at all times is not a crime under Qatari law.

Explaining the situation to Peninsula, Al Sayed said that only those who refuse to produce their IDs when required could face a maximum fine of 10,000QR.

He also said that police only request IDs from “suspects,” and not from ordinary residents going about their daily business:

“You are committing a crime only when you refuse to produce any identification document on the insistence of a law-enforcement official” he told the Peninsula.

“Just not carrying your ID isn’t an offence punishable with a fine.”

Al Sayed’s clarification tallies with the legal situation outlined in our original report (below), which pointed out that there is no a specific law in Qatar requiring residents to carry their ID with them.


Although Qatar residents are accustomed to producing their residency permits when entering residential compounds and clubs, this rule – and the high fine associated with it – has been met with surprise by many on Twitter:

How the law stands

Although all expats are required to hold either a valid RP or visa while in Qatar, there does not appear to be a specific law requiring residents to carry ID with them at all times.

However, article 6 of Law 4 of 2009, which regulates expats’ sponsorship and residence rules, does state that all residents should submit proof of residence or visa when required by the authorities. Article 52 of the same law applies a maximum QR10,000 fine for those who cannot present their IDs.

It’s not uncommon for a country to require nationals and expats to carry an ID with them wherever they go. Neighboring Saudi Arabia does this, as do many countries further afield, including the Netherlands and Brazil.

Illegal workers

Al-Sayed has been leading a campaign to flush out illegal workers in Qatar. 

In recent months, his team had made a series of high-profile arrests of gangs of illegal workers, and those who have been sheltering them.

He says that the Ministry of Interior will soon print a series of guidebooks in many different languages that clearly outlines the laws of government sponsorship and residency. 

“We spend maximum efforts in providing proper help and solve the problems of expats without any discrimination as all are equal before law” he says.

“All expats irrespective of their identity and culture shall abide by the rules of the county.”

Thoughts?

Credit: Photo courtesy of MoveOneInc.com

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A new draft law governing the regulation of Qatar’s nurseries and kindergartens states that they should only employ women, the Peninsula reports.

The government’s Advisory (Shura) Council approved the draft legislation yesterday.

Details about the new regulations are sparse, but here’s what we do know:

  • Licences for nurseries will be issued within 30 days of application, and will last for a year. They will be renewed based on the performance of the nursery.
  • A new amendment to the law adds that the Ministry should give or refuse permission for a new nursery within 30 days, and that it should also give clear reasons why, if permission has been rejected.
  • The law sets out 15 conditions for employing staff, but these have not yet been disclosed
  • The law gives the Minister of Social Affairs the right to cancel a permit, appoint a temporary management for a nursery, or close a nursery down for up to three months, if rules are being broken.

There is a lack of clarification on the “women only” rule. Though the Peninsula reports that all staff must be female, Arabic daily Al Arab states that only “nursery management” must be female.

The new law is the latest in a series of new regulations which have been imposed on nurseries and kindergartens in Qatar since the Villaggio fire last May. There, 19 people, including 13 children, were killed in a daycare on the first floor of the mall.

Shortly after the tragedy, the Ministry of Social Affairs, which regulates Qatar’s nurseries, decreed that all nurseries must operate only on the ground floor. The rule was introduced quickly and prompted some short-notice closures and allegations of overcrowding in some nurseries, who found themselves lacking for space.

The law also required nurseries to be located away from busy roads, and mandated Civil Defense clearance before a new nursery was allowed to open.

The draft law now awaits the Emir’s approval. 

Thoughts?

Credit: Photo by Celio Azzurro

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In a major bid toward transparency, the Ministry of Justice has launched a new website that contains every law passed in Qatar since 1961 in both Arabic and English.

Al Meezan (named after the word for the scales of justice in Arabic) is the product of a partnership between the Ministry of Justice and the Supreme Council for Communications and Information Technology (ictQatar).

The new site, which isn’t completely updated yet, is a treasure trove of information for both expats and residents, with laws covering the sponsorship of expats, the leasing of property and traffic regulations easily accessible for the first time.

Qatar is not the first country in the region to produce such a website. The UAE launched its Legislation Portal in 2009, making over 3,000 laws and 1,500 court decisions available to the public. 

Hosting information network

At a news conference to announce the site, Hassan bin Abdullah Al Ghanem, the Minister of Justice, also announced that Qatar is now the preferred choice to host the Global Legal Information Network (GLIN), a public database that gives lawyers and judges access to laws from around the world. 

GLIN was previously hosted by the Library of Congress in Washington DC in the USA, but it’s now seeking a new home. 

Qatar is an ideal choice to host the network, according to David Mao, Law Libertarian of the US Congress, who attended the launch of Al Meezan:

“By offering free access to its legal information, Qatar is setting an example for other governments in the region and throughout the world,” he said.  “We are delighted that the Ministry of Justice is ready and willing to assume the administration of GLIN. Indeed the entire GLIN membership sees Qatar as a benefiting successor and voted earlier this year to accept Qatar as the new leader of this international network.” 

Qatar became a member of GLIN in December 2010.

Thoughts?

Credit: Photo by Citizensheep