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Society of Qatar

Qatar’s legal system is based on Islamic and civil law codes. The system is controlled by the Emir. Islamic law dominates family and personal matters. The judicial branch includes Courts of First Instance, of Appeal, and of Cassation. An Administrative Court and a Constitutional Court were established in 2007. All judges are appointed by decree of the Emir, based on the recommendation of the Supreme Judiciary Council, for renewable three-year terms.

In 2002, a National Human Rights Committee was established by decree of the Emir. It is bound by guidelines set by the United Nations for National Human Rights Organizations.

Education is compulsory and free for all government employees’ children aged six to sixteen years old. Qatar has an increasingly high literacy rate of 89 percent (in 2008). In the autumn of 2003 Education City was inaugurated, a billion dollar project funded by the Emir. Some of the best universities in the world have opened up local branches in Education City, a 2,500 acre desert campus outside the capital of Doha.

The most visible sign of the move of the Qatari society toward openness is the al-Jazeera satellite television station based in the country, which is considered the most free and unfettered broadcast source in the Arab world. In practice, however, al-Jazeera rarely criticizes the ruling Thani family.


Doha

Further Reading

For centuries Bedouins (badu) have passed through the Qatar Peninsula – a strip of land extending northwards from the Arabian mainland to the Persian Gulf – benefitting from the sparse resources and at the same time maintainin...
When in November 2007 political scientist Louay Bahry returned to Qatar after three years of absence, he was surprised to find a female immigration officer issuing visas at the airport. He was even more amazed when he noticed that...
Qatar can expect to see an increasing number of highly educated young women entering the job market. It remains to be seen how these women will cope with – or change – a still overwhelmingly male dominated country. In 2004, 3....
Before the 1950s, education in Qatar was dominated by traditional Koranic studies in accordance with the kuttab system. This is an elementary form of education that used memorization and recitation of the Koran in order to provide...
Health care is generally of a high standard in Qatar. Qatari males have an average life expectancy of 76.1 years, and females of 76.9 (figures 2005). All births are attended by skilled health personnel, and the infant mortality ra...
Immediately after his coup in 1995, Emir Hamad bin Khalifa promised his subjects freedom of expression. This was clearly an effort to broaden his power base, which at that time was limited to the army and reform minded sections wi...
Violent street crime is rare in Qatar. As in all Gulf Arab countries, social control is strict and punishments, often corporal, can be severe. However, the local media sometimes report that migrants are stopped by nationals posing...

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