Qatar University Holds Comparative Law Conference

Doha, October 07 (QNA) – Lawyers and legal scholars from around the world gathered at Qatar University (QU) on Sunday for the opening of a two-day conference on comparative law. The conference, sponsored by the Qatar Financial Centre Authority (QFC) and hosted by QU’s College of Law, is the first of its kind in the region. It brings together legal experts from countries and universities where civil law, Islamic law and Common law are taught and practiced, to explore the inter-relationship between world’s three main legal systems and best practice in each.
The event was opened by College of Law Dean Dr Hassan Okour, while HE Attorney General of Qatar Dr Ali Bin Fetais Al Merri, delivered the keynote address. College of Law’s Dr Francis Botchway and QFC Group Chief Legal Officer and Board Secretary David Dhanoo also gave words of welcome.
Other key speakers at the conference include Dean Daniel Jutras of McGill Law School in Canada, Prof Frank Vogel, formerly of Harvard Law School, USA and Dean of Law Fayez El Haj of St. Joseph University Law School in Lebanon. They are joined by speakers from the Qatar, the UK, USA, Canada, Egypt, Germany and France for a series of panel presentations on topics including a study on civil law, common law and Islamic law; and comparative perspectives on, separately, constitutional law, criminal law and business law.
Welcoming the international delegates, College of Law Dean Dr Okour said he hoped that the conference would raise greater awareness of the comprehensive nature of Islamic Law. He said: “We are proud to host this inaugural conference at Qatar University. We hope it will promote dialogue between legal experts across the world and will lead to a better understanding of the key legal systems and their strengths.
“Facilitating such international debate underlines our commitment to driving forward Qatar as a center of knowledge and excellence in the region.” He went on that plans for future similar conferences are in the pipeline, with the next one scheduled to cover financial services.
Dhanoo said: “This conference on Comparative Law is the first of its kind to be held in Qatar. It is a privilege for the Qatar Financial Centre Authority to be associated with an event at which distinguished experts from around the world will discuss the profound influences that Common Law, Civil Law and Islamic Law have had on each other and how these influences will become even more important in an age of economic globalization, internationalism and democratization. The conference demonstrates how Qatar s reputation is growing as a unique cross-roads and centre for knowledge, scholarship, intellectual enquiry and legal development.”
In his keynote address, HE Dr Ali Bin Fetais Al Merri said: “Such opportunities to come together and learn from each other are important and we thank QU and the College of Law for organising this conference.”
He went on to discuss the importance of the separation of the judiciary, legislative and executive authorities for a state to achieve a fair and just constitution and legal system. He also highlighted Qatar’s unique position in blending legal thinking from across the world with Islamic law to build its own legal system.
In the field of constitutional law, the panel discussed the doctrines and concepts of constitution making, particularly human dignity and how to better apply this concept in a modern, multi-cultural world. Constitutionalism was also examined, in the context of Shariah and modern Islamic state practise, by comparing systems and practices in countries such as Qatar, Malaysia and Pakistan with those of the USA and UK.
On the second day of the conference, business law and the role of the three legal systems in business growth and regulation will be studied, with a focus on Islamic Law origins and the principles of commercial law and finance as well as the law of bankruptcy in Qatar and its civil law origins. Regulation in business   the role of the legal profession in preventing business misconduct, especially attorney-client relationships – will also be under discussion. 
There will also be a panel discussion on criminal law and justice systems, including models of adversarial trial and the resurgence and application of Shariah.
The conference is part of an extensive program of professional development events organized by QU’s College of Law throughout the year to help lawyers in Qatar share international best practice. It is an important contribution to realizing the goals of the Qatar National Vision 2030 and the Qatar National Development Strategy 2011- 2016, in particular the Sustaining Prosperity and Human Development pillars. (QNA)

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