The people are the source of power, and they shall exercise the same in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.
The system of government is based on the separation of powers and their collaboration in the manner specified in this Constitution.
Legislative authority shall be vested in the Shura Council as prescribed in this Constitution.
Executive authority shall be vested in the Emir, and he shall be assisted by the Council of Ministers as specified in this Constitution.
Judicial Authority shall be vested in the courts of law as prescribed in this Constitution; and judgments of the court shall be pronounced in the name of the Emir.
The Emir is the head of state. His person shall be inviolable and he must be respected by all.
The Emir is the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. He shall supervise the same with the assistance of the Defense Council under his direct authority. The said Council shall be constituted by an Emiri Resolution, which will also determine the functions thereof.
The Emir shall represent the State internally and externally, and in all international relations.
The Emir shall discharge the following functions: –
1. Drawing up the general policy of the State with the assistance of the Council of Ministers.
2. Ratification and promulgation of laws; no law may be issued unless ratified by the Emir.
3. Summoning the Council of Ministers to convene at any time deemed necessary in the public interest; the Emir shall preside over the meetings of the Council of Ministers, which he attends.
4. Appointment of civil servants and military personnel and termination of their service in accordance with the Law.
5. Accreditation of diplomatic and consular missions.
6. Granting pardons or commuting penalties in accordance with the Law.
7. Conferring civilian and military orders and badges of honour in accordance with the Law.
8. Establishment and regulation of ministries and other government bodies and setting their functions.
9. Establishment and regulation of such consultative bodies as are required to assist him in conducting State affairs.
10. Any other functions vested in him by this Constitution or the Law.
The Emir shall conclude treaties and agreements by decree and refer them to the Shura Council, accompanied by appropriate explanatory memos. The treaty or agreement shall have the power of law after ratification and publication in the Official Gazette. However, reconciliation treaties and those that pertain to the territory of the State, relate to the right of sovereignty or to the public or private rights of the citizen, or involve an amendment to the laws of the State, shall come into force when the same are issued as a law.
The Emir may issue a decree declaring martial law in the country in exceptional cases specified by the Law, and in such cases the Emir may take all urgent requisite measures to counter any threat that undermines the safety of the State, the integrity of its territories or the security of its people and interests, or that prevents the organs of the State from performing their duties. However, the decree must specify the nature of such exceptional cases where martial law can be declared and specify measures which should be taken to return to the Rule of Law.
The Shura Council shall be notified of this decree within the fifteen days following its issue, and in the event that the Council is not in session for any reason whatsoever, the Council shall be notified of the decree at its first meeting. Martial law shall be declared for a limited period and the same shall not be extended unless approved by the Shura Council.
In cases of extreme urgency, or force majeure that require measures of utmost urgency by issuing special decree-laws, and in such cases when the Shura Council is not in session, the Emir may issue pertinent decrees that have the power of law.
Such decree-laws shall be submitted to the Shura Council at its first meeting, and the Council may, within a maximum of forty days from the date of submission and with a two-thirds majority of its members, reject any of these decree-laws, or request amendment thereof to be effected within a specified period of time. Such decree-laws shall cease to have the power of law from the date of their rejection by the Council or when the period for effecting the amendments has expired.
Defensive war shall be declared by an Emiri Decree and aggressive war is prohibited.
The Emir shall appoint the Prime Minister, accept his resignation and remove the Prime Minister from office by an Emiri Order, and the resignation of the Prime Minister or his removal from office shall include all other ministers. In the event of acceptance of resignation or removal from office, the outgoing Council shall continue to conduct urgent business on a temporary emergency basis until such time as a new Council is appointed.
The Emir shall appoint ministers by an Emiri Order on nomination by the Prime Minister, and he shall accept resignations of ministers and relieve them from office in the same way. Where the resignation of a minister has been accepted, the minister may be entrusted to continue the conduct of urgent business in his role as former minister until his successor is appointed.
The Emir shall, in a special session convened by the Shura Council prior to the discharge of his functions, take the following solemn oath:
I, do solemnly swear by Almighty Allah to respect Shari’a Law, the Constitution and the Law, protect the independence of the State, safeguard its territorial integrity, and defend the freedom and interests of its people.
The Emir shall seek public opinion on important issues pertaining to the interests of the State in a referendum. The question to be decided by such a referendum shall be deemed to be accepted if approved by the majority of voters, and the result of the referendum shall be binding and effective from the date of its announcement. The results shall be published in the Official Gazette.
The Legislative Authority
The Shura Council shall assume legislative authority, approve the general policy of the government and the budget, and shall exercise control over the executive authority as specified in this Constitution.
The Shura Council shall consist of forty-five members, thirty of whom shall be elected by direct, general secret ballot, and the Emir shall appoint the remaining fifteen members from amongst the ministers or any other persons.
The election system shall be determined by legislation in which the conditions and procedures of nomination and election are specified.
The electoral constituencies into which the State is divided shall be determined by a decree.
The members of the Advisory Council (Shura) must fulfill the following conditions:
1. Be Qatari national;
2. Be not less than thirty calendar years of age at the close nominations;
3. Be fluent in the reading and writing of Arabic;
4. Must not have been convicted by a competent court of law for an offence involving immoral behaviour or dishonesty, unless rehabilitated in accordance with the Law; and
5. Be eligible to vote as determined by electoral law.
The term of office of the Shura Council shall be four calendar years commencing from the date of the first meeting, and the election of a new Council shall be conducted during the last ninety days of the aforementioned term. Any member whose term of office expires may be re-elected, and where the election is not held at the expiry of the Council’s term of office or is delayed for any reason whatsoever, the term of office shall continue until a new Council is elected. The legislative term shall not be extended save by necessity and by decree provided that the said extension shall not exceed the period of one legislative term.
The competent Judicial Authority to decide on the validity of members’ election to the Shura Council shall be determined by the Law.
Where for any reason the seat of one of the elected members of the Shura Council falls vacant at least six months before expiry of the Council’s term of office, a successor shall be elected within two months from the date of notification of such vacancy. Where, on the other hand, the seat of an appointed member falls vacant, a new member shall be appointed to fill the vacancy. In both cases, the new member shall complete the term of his predecessor.
The annual term of session of the Council shall be at least eight months, and the Council may not adjourn the session until the budget of the State is approved.
The Shura Council shall commence its annual ordinary session upon convocation by the Emir in the month of October every year.
Notwithstanding the preceding two Articles, the Emir shall summon the Council within one month of the conclusion of a general election for its first meeting following the election.
Where the convening of the Council is delayed during this term from the date prescribed by the preceding Article, the duration of the term of the Council shall be reduced by the length of time of that delay.
The Emir or his nominated representative shall open the annual term of the session of the Shura Council and give a comprehensive speech in which he addresses the affairs of the State.
In case of necessity, the Emir, by a decree or at the request of a majority of the members of the Council, shall call an extraordinary meeting of the Shura Council. In the case of an extraordinary session, the Council shall not look into any matters other than those for which it has been convened.
Summoning and adjourning ordinary and extraordinary sessions of the Council shall be by decree.
The Emir may, by a decree, postpone a meeting of the Shura Council for a period not exceeding one month, but the postponement of such meeting shall not be repeated during any one term, save with the approval of the Council and for a single period of one month, and such a period shall not be deemed part of the term of the session.
The Council shall hold its meetings at its official seat in Doha City. However, the Emir may convene the Council in any other place.
In an open session and prior to the discharge of their duties with the Shura Council, the members shall take the following solemn oath:- I, do solemnly swear by the Almighty Allah to be loyal to the country and to the Emir, respect Shari’a Law, the Constitution and the Law, safeguard the interests of the people and perform my duties with honesty and integrity.
The Council at its first meeting shall elect a Speaker and Deputy Speaker from among the members for the duration of its term of office. In the event of either position becoming vacant, the Council shall elect a replacement to serve for the remainder of the Council’s term. The election shall be by secret ballot and by absolute majority of the votes of attending members; should such majority not be obtained on the first vote, a second vote shall be held between the two members with the highest numbers of votes. Where there is a tie between the second of the two who obtained the most votes and another candidate, this third candidate shall run in the second vote and in such an eventuality the election shall be determined by relative majority. In the event that more than one candidate obtains equal votes, the choice will be made by allotment. The session shall be chaired by the most senior member until the Speaker is elected.
Within two weeks of the commencement of its annual session, the Council shall form such committees from among the members as may be necessary for the performance of its functions. Such committees may discharge their functions during the recess of the Council in preparation for submission to the Council, at the beginning of the following session, of the results of their work.
The Council shall have a bureau consisting of the Speaker, his deputy and chairs of committees and it shall have a general secretariat to assist the Council in the discharge of its functions.
Maintaining order in the Council shall be the function of the Speaker.
The Shura Council shall make regulations governing its internal order and conduct of business, the work of committees, the organization of sessions, procedural and voting rules and all functions stipulated in this Constitution. The regulations shall determine disciplinary penalties for any members violating orders, or failing to attend sessions of the Council or committees without acceptable reason; and the aforementioned regulations shall be issued by law.
Sittings of the Council shall be public, but they may also be held in camera at the request of one-third of the members of the Council or at the request of the Council of Ministers.
For the sessions of the Council to be a quorum, the majority of the members must be present and the Speaker or his Deputy must also be present. In the event that a quorum is not attained, the session shall be adjourned to the next sitting.
The resolutions of the Council shall be passed by absolute majority of the attending members save in cases that require a special majority, and in the event that the votes are equal, the Speaker shall have the casting vote.
Membership of the Council ceases by reason of:
1. Death or serious incapacity,
2. Expiry of term of membership,
4. Removal from office,
5. Dissolution of the Council.
The resignation of a member shall be made in writing to the Speaker. The Speaker shall submit the resignation to the Council to determine its acceptance or refusal. The rules pertaining to this matter shall be specified by internal regulations.
No member may be removed from the Council unless he loses its confidence and esteem, or becomes disqualified through lack of one of the conditions of membership on the basis of which he was elected, or unless he is in breach of the duties of membership. A resolution for removal from the Council shall be taken by a two-thirds majority of the members of the Council.
The Emir may dissolve the Council by a decree in which the reasons for the dissolution shall be stated. However, the Council shall not be dissolved twice for the same reason. Where the Council is dissolved, the election of a new Council shall take place within a period not exceeding six months from the date of dissolution. Until a new Council is elected, the Emir, with the assistance of the Council of Ministers, shall assume the power of legislation.
1. Every member of the Council shall have the right to propose legislative bills, and every proposal shall be referred to the relevant committee of the Council for scrutiny. This committee will in turn submit recommendations to the Council. If the Council agrees to the amendments, the same shall be referred in draft form to the government for study and opinion. Such draft shall be returned to the Council during the same or the following session.
2. Any legislative bill rejected by the Council may not be re-introduced during the same session.
1. Any draft law passed by the Council shall be referred to the Emir for ratification.
2. If the Emir declines to approve the draft law, he shall return it, together with the reasons for such rejection, to the Council within three months of the date of referral.
3. In the event that a draft law is returned to the Council within the period specified in the preceding paragraph and the Council passes the same again with a two-thirds majority of all its members, the Emir shall ratify and promulgate it. The Emir may, in exceptional circumstances, order the suspension of such Law for the period that he deems necessary to serve the higher interests of the country. If, however, the draft law is not passed by a two-thirds majority, it shall not be reconsidered within the same session.
The general draft budget shall be submitted to the Shura Council at least two months from the start of the fiscal year, and the draft budget shall not come into force except by Council approval.
The Shura Council may, with the approval of the government, make amendments to the draft budget, and in the event that the draft budget is not passed before the start of the fiscal year, the previous budget continues to be effective until the new budget is passed.
The Law shall define the method of preparing the budget and shall specify the fiscal year.
The Shura Council shall have the right to forward proposals relative to public matters to the government. If the government is unable to comply with such aspirations, it must give its reasons to the Council. The Council may comment only once on the government’s statement.
Every member of the Shura Council may address a point of clarification to the Prime Minister and to any of the ministers pertaining to matters within their jurisdiction; only the person who raised the question has the right to comment once on the response.
Every member of the Shura Council may address an interpellation to ministers on matters within their jurisdiction. An interpellation may not be made unless it is agreed on by one-third of the members of the Council. Such an interpellation may not be discussed until at least ten days from the date of submission, save in urgent circumstances and provided the minister agrees to the reduction of this period.
Every minister is responsible to the Shura Council for the performance of his ministry, and a minister may not be subjected to a vote of confidence save after an interpellation addressed to him. The vote of confidence shall be discussed if the minister so desires, or upon a request signed by fifteen members. The Council may not issue a resolution in this respect until at least ten days from the date of the submission of the request or expression of desire and a motion of no confidence in the minister shall be passed by a two-thirds majority of the members of the Council. The minister shall be deemed to have relinquished his office as of the date of the no-confidence resolution.
A Minister of the Council shall in no circumstances be held blamable for opinions or statements he makes in respect of matters within the jurisdiction of the Council.
1. Except when a member of the Shura Council is found in flagrante delicto, a member shall not be arrested, detained, searched or subjected to investigation without the prior permission of the Council. Where the Council has not issued a resolution on the request for such permission within one month from the receipt of the said request, permission shall be deemed to have been given. The permission shall be issued by the Speaker of the Council when the latter is not in session.
2. In a case of in flagrante delicto, the Council must be notified of the measures taken against the offending member, and where the Council is not in session, such notification should be made at the first subsequent session.
Members of the Council shall not be permitted to assume roles within public office save in exceptional cases where permissible under the Constitution.
The members of the Shura Council shall aim to conduct themselves in such a way as to serve the interests of the country and shall not in any way use their official positions to further their own interests or those of their acquaintances. The Law shall determine any proscribed activities for members of the Shura Council.
The Speaker of the Council, his Deputy and the members shall be remunerated as determined by law. Such remuneration shall be due as of the date of taking the oath before the Council.
The Executive Authority
No one save a person of original Qatari nationality shall assume a ministerial post.
The formation of the Council of Ministers shall be by Emiri Order at the proposal of the Prime Minister. The Emir may entrust the Prime Minister or any other minister with responsibility for one or more ministries, and the Law shall specify the powers of ministers.
Prior to assuming office, the Prime Minister and the ministers shall take the following oath before the Emir:-
I, do solemnly swear by Almighty Allah to be loyal to the country and to the Emir , respect Shari’a Law, the Constitution and the Law, fully safeguard the interests of the people, perform my duties faithfully, conscientiously, and with honour, and fully safeguard the territorial integrity and safety of the State.
The Council of Ministers shall assist the Emir in discharging his functions and exercising his powers in accordance with this Constitution and the provisions of the Law.
As determined in this Constitution and in the provisions of the Law, the Council of Ministers, in its capacity as the highest executive organ, shall administer all the internal and external affairs falling within its jurisdiction. The Council of Ministers shall specifically perform the following functions:
1. Drafting of laws and decrees and submission of the same to the Shura Council for debate. Should such draft laws be approved by the Advisory Council, they shall be referred to the Emir for ratification and promulgation in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.
2. Approval of the regulations and decisions prepared by ministries and other government organs related to their respective jurisdiction, for the implementation of the Law in accordance with their provisions.
3. Supervision of the implementation of laws, decrees, regulations and resolutions.
4. Establishment and regulation of government departments, public authorities and corporate bodies in accordance with the Law.
5. Supreme control of the financial and administrative systems of the government.
6. Appointment and dismissal of civil servants in cases where such appointments and dismissals do not fall within the jurisdiction of the Emir or the power of the ministers as specified by the Law.
7. Drafting general regulations that adequately ensure the maintenance of internal security and public order in all parts of the State in accordance with the Law.
8. Administration of the finances of the State and preparation of its draft budget as determined by this Constitution and the provisions of the Law.
9. Approval of economic projects and methods of their implementation.
10. Preserving the interests of the State abroad and maintenance of its international relations and foreign affairs.
11. Preparation of a report at the beginning of every fiscal year to include to include a detailed statement of home and international policies. The report shall be accompanied by a plan proposing the most advantageous ways of achieving comprehensive development of the State, providing the necessary conditions for its development and prosperity, and consolidating its security and stability in accordance with the basic guiding principles of the policy of the State as stated in this Constitution. The said report shall be submitted to the Emir for approval.
12. Any other functions vested in it by this Constitution or the Law.
The ministers shall implement general government policy, each within the limits of their own jurisdiction.
The Emir may request the Prime Minister and the ministers to submit reports on any State matter that falls within their remit.
The Prime Minister and the ministers are collectively responsible to the Emir for the implementation of general government policy, and each one of them is individually responsible to the Emir for the manner in which he carries out his duties and exercises his functions.
The Law shall determine the remuneration of the Prime Minister and the ministers, and all provisions pertaining to ministers shall apply to the Prime Minister unless otherwise stipulated.
The Prime Minister shall preside over the sessions of the Council of Ministers, organize its proceedings and supervise coordination of work among the various ministries in order to achieve unity and harmony among the governmental organs of the State. The Prime Minister shall sign, in the name and on behalf of the Council of Ministers, decisions made by the Council. He shall also submit to the Emir the decisions of the Council on matters requiring an Emiri Resolution for approval and promulgation in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.
The meetings of the Council of Ministers shall be quorum if a majority of its members are present, provided that the Prime Minister or his deputy is present. The discussions of the Council shall be in camera, and its decisions shall be made by a majority of the members present. In cases where votes are equal, the Prime Minister shall have the casting vote. The minority shall abide by the opinion of the majority.
The Council of Ministers shall establish its own internal regulations and it shall have a general secretariat to assist in the discharge of its functions.
On taking up their positions, ministers shall aim to serve the interests of the country and shall not in any way misuse their official positions to further their own interests or those of their acquaintances. The Law shall determine activities that are restricted for ministers and actions committed during their term of office for which they are accountable, and the said Law shall specify the manner of accountability.
The Judicial Authority
The supremacy of the Law is the foundation of governance in the State. The honour of the judiciary, its integrity and the impartiality of judges safeguard the rights and liberties of the people.
The judiciary shall be independent and it shall be vested in courts of different jurisdictions. The courts shall pass their judgments according to the Law.
The independence of the Judiciary shall be safeguarded and no interference whatsoever shall be permitted with court proceedings and the course of justice.
The Law shall regulate the levels and divisions of courts and define their jurisdiction and powers. The jurisdiction of military tribunals is restricted, except when martial law is in force, to military crimes committed by staff of the armed and the security forces within the limitations specified by the Law.
Court sessions shall be public except when a court decides, in the interests of public order or morality, to hold them in camera. In all cases, judgments shall be pronounced in an open session.
Judges cannot be removed from office save in cases specified by the Law. The said Law shall also specify the rules and disciplinary procedures applicable to judges.
Access to justice shall be guaranteed to all people. The Law shall specify the procedures and manner of exercising this right.
The Public prosecutor shall conduct public prosecutions in the name of the people, supervise law enforcement, and ensure the application of criminal laws. The law shall regulate the functions of this body and shall set out details pertaining to the tenure/conditions of employment/functions/roles/responsibilities of staff in the office of the Public Prosecutor.
The judiciary shall have a Supreme Council to supervise the proper functioning of courts of law and their auxiliary organs. The Law shall determine the composition, powers and functions of the said Council.
The Law shall determine the competent body entrusted with the settlement of administrative disputes and define its structure and manner of discharging its functions.
The Law shall regulate the method of settling conflicts of jurisdiction or judgment among the judicial bodies.
The Law shall specify the competent judicial body for the settling of disputes pertaining to the constitutionality of laws and regulations and shall define its powers, appeals systems and the procedures to be followed before the said body. It shall also specify the consequences of a judgment.