Section I. General Provisions
The People are the source of powers, and they exercise them according to the provisions of this Constitution.
The governing system is based upon the separation of powers and their cooperation in the manner specified in this Constitution.
Structure of legislative chamber(s)
The Legislative Power is exercised by the Advisory Council in the manner specified i this Constitution.
The Executive Power is exercised by the Prince, and is assisted by the Council of Ministers in the manner specified in this Constitution.
The Judicial Power is exercised by the Courts in the manner specified in this Constitution. Judgments are issued in the name of the Prince.
Section II. The Prince
Name/structure of executive(s), Head of state immunity
The Prince is the Head of the State. His person is inviolable, and his respect is a duty.
Designation of commander in chief
The Prince is the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, which are under his supervision, assisted by a Council for Defense under his direct control. The Council is established, and its functions are determined by a princely decision.
Foreign affairs representative
The Prince represents the State inside and outside the State and in all international relations.
Head of state powers
The Prince exercises the following functions:
- Shaping the State's public policy, with the assistance of the Council of Ministers.
- Ratifying the laws and promulgating them. No law may be promulgated, unless ratified by the Prince.
- Inviting the Council of Ministers to convene, as required by public interest. He presides over the sessions he attends.
Selection of active-duty commanders
Appointing civil and military employees, and terminating their services according to the law.
- Accrediting heads of diplomatic and consular missions.
Power to pardon
Pardoning the punishment, or commuting it, according to the law.
- Granting civil and military badges of honor according the law.
- Establishing and organizing the ministries, and other government agencies, and determining their jurisdiction.
- Establishing and organizing the agencies which assist him with opinion and consultation for directing the State's high policies, supervising them, and determining their jurisdiction.
- Any other functions, according to this Constitution or Law.
Treaty ratification, Legal status of treaties
The Prince concludes the treaties and agreements by a decree, and refers them to the Advisory Council with appropriate notice. The treaty or the agreement shall have the force of law after ratifying it and publishing it in the Official Gazette. However, peace treaties and treaties pertaining the State's territory, or sovereignty rights, or public or private rights of citizens, or those that involve amendment of the State's laws, must be issued by law, to be put into force.
Under no circumstances shall the treaty include any secret conditions conflicting with its public conditions.
The Prince may declare Martial Law in the Country by a decree, in the exceptional circumstances prescribed by the law. At that time, he may take all the prompt measures needed to confront any danger threatening the State's safety, or the integrity of its territory, or its People's security and interests, or obstruct the State's institutions from performing their functions, on condition that the decree must include the nature of the exceptional circumstance for which the Martial Law was declared, and prescribe the measures taken to confront it. The Advisory Council is notified of this decree in its first session.
The Martial Law is declared for a limited period of time and cannot be extended, unless approved by the Advisory Council.
Head of state decree power
The Prince may, in exceptional circumstances that require taking urgent measures that cannot be delayed and can be taken by issuing laws, even when the Advisory Council is not in session, issue decrees having the force of law.
These decree laws are submitted to the Advisory Council in its first session. The Council may, within a maximum of forty (40) days from the date of their submission, and by a two-thirds (2/3) majority, reject any of them or ask for their amendment within a specific period. These decrees cease to have the force of law from the date the Council rejected them or from the expiration of the period of time for the amendment without affecting it.
Power to declare/approve war, Designation of commander in chief
Defensive war shall be declared by a Princely Decree, and offensive war is prohibited.
Head of government removal, Head of government selection, Name/structure of executive(s), Cabinet removal
The Prince appoints the Prime Minister, accepts his resignation and relieves him from his post by a Princely Order.
The resignation of the Prime Minister, or relieving him from his post includes all ministers.
In case of accepting the resignation or the relief from post, the Council continues to handle urgent matters until the new Council of Ministers is appointed.
Establishment of cabinet/ministers
The Prince appoints the Ministers by a Princely Order based upon a recommendation of the Prime Minister. He accepts their resignation and relieves them from their posts with the same instrument. In the case of accepting a Minister's resignation, he may be asked to perform urgent matters until his successor is appointed.
Duty to obey the constitution, God or other deities
The Prince takes the following oath prior to the performance of his functions, in a special session of the Advisory Council:
"I swear by God, the Great, to respect the Islamic Law, the Constitution, and the Law, protect the Country's independence, safeguard the integrity of its territory, and defend the People's freedoms and interests."
The Prince may ask for the citizen's referendum on important issues relating to the Country's interests. The subject of referendum is considered approved if supported by the majority of voters. The result of referendum is binding and effective from the date of its announcement and is published in the Official Gazette.
Section III. The Legislative Power
The Advisory Council assumes the Legislative Power, approves the State's public budget and exercises the function of "watchdog" over the Executive Power, according to the manner stipulated in this Constitution.
Secret ballot, Size of first chamber, First chamber selection
The Advisory Council consists of forty-five (45) members. Thirty (30) of them are elected by public secret direct ballot, and the Prince appoints the other fifteen (15) members from the ministers or others. The membership of the appointed members in the Advisory Council is terminated by their resignation or relief.
Scheduling of elections
The Electoral System is issued by a law in which the conditions and procedures of nomination and election are determined.
The electoral districts into which the State is divided and the scope of each are determined by a decree.
Eligibility for first chamber
A member of the Advisory Council must fulfill the following conditions:
- To be of an original Qatari nationality.
Minimum age for first chamber
To be at least thirty (30) calendar years at the closing date of nomination.
- To be fluent in reading and writing the Arabic language.
- Should not have been convicted by a final judgment in the crime involving moral turpitude or dishonesty, unless he is rehabilitated according to the law.
- To meet the conditions of an elector according to the electoral law.
Term length for first chamber
The term of the Council is four (4) calendar years effective the date of its first session. The elections of the new Council occur during the ninety (90) days prior to the end of that term. A member, whose term expired, may be re-elected. If the elections cannot be held at the end of the Council's term, or are delayed for any reason, the Council continues to exist until the new Council is elected. The legislative term may not be extended, except for necessity and by a decree, provided that that extension may not exceed one legislative term.
The law determines the competent judicial jurisdiction to decide on the validity of electing the Members of the Advisory Council.
Replacement of legislators
If the seat of any of the elected members of the Advisory Council becomes vacant at least six months prior to the expiration of his term for any reason, a successor shall be elected within two months from the date of notifying the Council of such vacancy. If the seat of any of the appointed members becomes vacant, another new member is appointed to succeed him. In both cases, the new member completes the term of his predecessor.
Length of legislative sessions
The session of the Council is for a period of at least eight (8) months a year. The session may not be adjourned prior to the approval of the State budget.
The Advisory Council holds its annual ordinary session with the Prince's invitation within the month of October of every year.
With the exception of the preceding two articles, the Prince invites the Advisory Council to hold the first session, subsequent to the Council's general elections, within one month from the end of those elections.
If the convening of the Council in this session is delayed beyond the annual date prescribed in the preceding article, the term of the session is reduced by the difference between the two dates.
The Prince, or his Representative, inaugurates the term of the annual session of the Advisory Council and delivers a comprehensive speech covering the affairs of the Country.
Extraordinary legislative sessions
The Prince invites the Advisory Council to an extraordinary meeting by a decree in case of necessity or based upon the request of the majority of the Council's members. In an extraordinary session, the Council may not view except the matters for which it was invited.
Inviting the Advisory Council to convene in its ordinary and extraordinary sessions, and adjourning them, shall be by a decree.
The Prince may defer, by a decree, the meeting of the Advisory Council for a period not to exceed one month. The postponement cannot be repeated in the term of one session except by the Council's approval for one period. The postponement period cannot be included as part of the session term.
The Council holds its meetings in its seat in the city of Al-Douha. The Prince may invite it to convene in any other place.
God or other deities, Duty to obey the constitution, Oaths to abide by constitution
Before performing their duties, members of the Advisory Council take the following oath before the Council and in a public session:
"I swear by God, the Great, to be loyal to the Homeland and the Prince, and to respect the Islamic Law, the Constitution, and the Law, and to heed for the People's interests, and to perform my job with honesty and integrity."
Leader of first chamber
In its first session and for the Council's term, the Council elects a President and a Vice-President from amongst its members. If the seat of any becomes vacant, the Council elects who replaces him to the end of the Council's term. The election shall be by secret ballot and by the absolute majority of votes of the attending members. If this majority does not materialize the first time, reelection is conducted between the top two in the number of votes cast by the attending members. If the second of the two receives equal votes with others, he is included with them in the second-time election, which is conducted according to the relative majority. If more than one are equal in obtaining the relative majority, the selection among them is made by lot.
The eldest member presides over the session until the President is elected.
The Council establishes, from its members, the committees necessary for the performance of its functions within two (2) weeks from the start of its annual session. These committees may perform their functions during the Council's recess in order to submit the results of their work to it at the beginning of the following session.
The Council shall have an Office including the President, his Deputy, Chairmen of Committees, and a General-Secretariat to assist it in performing its functions.
Maintain order in the Council is in the jurisdiction of the Council's President.
Attendance by legislators
The Advisory Council establishes its internal by-laws including its internal order and the proceeding for conducting the business in the Council, the work of its committees, the organization of sessions, the rules of discussion and voting, and the other functions stipulated in this Constitution. The by-laws determine the sanctions prescribed for the violation of the order by the member, or his absences from the sessions of the Council or the committees without acceptable excuse. The by-laws are issued by law.
Public or private sessions
The sessions of the Advisory Council shall be public, and they may be held in camera in response to the request of one-third of the Council's members, or upon the request of the Council of Ministers.
Quorum for legislative sessions
In order to have a quorum to validate convening of the Council, the majority of its members must attend, including the President or his Deputy. If there is no quorum, the session is adjourned to the next session.
Supermajority required for legislation
The Council's decisions are issued by absolute majority of the attending members, not withstanding the cases in which special majority is required. If there is a tie, the President has a casting vote.
Removal of individual legislators
Membership in the Advisory Council is terminated by one of the following reasons:
- Death or total disability.
- Expiration of the membership's term.
- Dissolution of the Council.
Resignation of the member of the Council shall be in writing to the President. The President shall submit the resignation to the Council for a decision to accept it or refuse it.
The internal by-laws provide for the rules pertaining to this matter.
Removal of individual legislators
Membership of any of the Council's members may not be dropped unless he loses the confidence and esteem, or loses one of the membership's conditions on the basis of which he was elected, or violates the duties of his membership. The decision to drop the membership must be issued by the Council by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of its members.
Dismissal of the legislature
The Prince may dissolve the Advisory Council by a decree stating the reasons for the dissolution. The Council may not be dissolved for the same reasons another time. If the Council is dissolved, elections for the new Council must be conducted at a date not to exceed six months from the dissolution date.
Until the election of the new Council is conducted, the Prince assumes the Legislative Power with the assistance of the Council of Ministers.
Initiation of general legislation
Every member of the Council has the right to initiate the laws. Every bill is referred to the relevant committee in the Council for studying it and expressing opinion thereof, and submitting it to the Council subsequently. If the Council decides to accept the bill, it refers it to the Government after putting it in the form of law proposal for studying it and expressing opinions thereof, and returning it to the Council in the same session or the following one.
- Any bill rejected by the Council may not be reintroduced in the same term session.
- Every bill passed by the Advisory Council is submitted to the Prince for approval.
Approval or veto of general legislation
If the Prince decides not to approve the bill, he returns it to the Council within three months from the date of its submission together with the reasons of disapproval.
Veto override procedure
If the bill is returned within the period specified in the preceding paragraph, and is passed once again by the Advisory Council by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the Council's members, the Prince approves it and issues it. The Prince may, in case of imperative necessity, suspend the implementation of this law for the period he deems necessary to realize the high interests of the Country. If the bill is not passed by two thirds (2/3) majority, it may not be reconsidered during the same session.
The Public Budget bill must be submitted to the Advisory Council at least two months prior to the start of the fiscal year and shall not come into force unless approved by the Council. The Advisory Council may amend the Budget bill by the Government's approval.
If the new Budget is not approved prior to the start of fiscal year, the previous Budget remains in force until the new Budget is approved. The law defines the way of preparing the Budget, as well as the fiscal year.
The Advisory Council has the right to express wishes to the Government with respect to public matters. If the Government cannot comply with these wishes, it must explain to the Council the reasons thereof, and the Council may respond once on the Government's statement.
Legislative oversight of the executive
Each member of the Advisory Council has the right to address questions to the Prime Minister and to one of the Ministers for the clarification of matters within their jurisdiction, and the enquirer only has the right to comment only once on the response.
Legislative oversight of the executive
Every member of the Advisory Council has the right to interrogate the Ministers with respect to matters within their jurisdiction. The interrogation may be addressed by the approval of one-third (1/3) of the Council's members. The interrogation may not be discussed except after at least ten (10) days from addressing it, unless it is an urgency case and pending the approval of the Minister to shorten the period.
Every Minister is responsible before the Advisory Council for the functions of his ministry. There may be no vote of confidence on the Minister except after discussing the interrogation addressed to him. A vote of confidence may be taken based upon his wish or a request signed by fifteen (15) Members. The Council may not decide on this matter before ten (10) days at least from the date of submitting the request or expressing the wish. A vote of no confidence against the Minister is taken by the majority of two-thirds(2/3) of the Members constituting the Council. The Minister is relieved from the Ministry effective the date of the decision of no confidence.
A member of the Council may not be reprimanded for the opinions or statements he expresses before the Council or its committees with respect to matters within the jurisdiction of the Council.
Immunity of legislators
- Except in cases of flagrante delicto, a member of the Advisory Council may not be arrested, jailed, searched, or interrogated except by a prior permission from the Council. If the Council does not decide on the request for permission within one month from the date of receiving the request, this is considered as a permission. The permission is issued by the Council President when it is not in session.
- In case of flagrante delicto, the Council must be notified of the measures taken against the offending member, and in case the Council is not in session, that notification must be made in the first subsequent session.
Outside professions of legislators
It is not permissible to combine the membership of the Advisory Council and the assumption of public offices, except in the cases where the combination is permissible by the Constitution.
In their conduct, Members of the Advisory Council must have for their objective the interests of the Homeland, and not to exploit the membership in any manner whatsoever for their benefit, or the benefit of those with whom they have a special relationship. The law determines the acts that the Member of the Advisory Council may not perform.
The Council President, his Vice-President, and the Members are granted a remuneration determined by law, and is due effective the date of taking the oath before the Council.
Section IV. The Executive Power
Eligibility for head of government, Eligibility for cabinet
No one assumes the Ministry, unless his original nationality is Qatari.
Cabinet selection, Establishment of cabinet/ministers
The formation of the Cabinet is by a Princely Order based upon a proposal by the Prime Minister. The Prince may entrust the Prime Minister or any of the Ministers with the assumption of one ministry or more.
The law determines the powers of Ministers.
Duty to obey the constitution, God or other deities, Oaths to abide by constitution
The Prime Minister and Ministers take the following oath before the Prince, prior to the assumption of their offices:
"I swear by God, the Great, to be loyal to the Homeland and the Prince, to respect the Islamic Law, the Constitution, and the Law, to fully safeguard the interests of the People, to perform my duties honestly, faithfully and honorably, and to fully preserve the Country's entity and its territorial integrity."
The Council of Ministers assists the Prince in performing his duties and exercising his powers, according to this Constitution and the provisions of the law.
Budget bills, Powers of cabinet
As the supreme executive institution, the Council of Ministers is assigned the performance of all the internal and external affairs within its jurisdiction according to this Constitution and the provisions of the law.
The Council of Ministers performs the following functions in particular:
Initiation of general legislation
Proposing draft laws and decrees. Draft laws are submitted to the Advisory Council for debating them. In case of approving them, they are submitted to the Prince for ratification and promulgation, according to the provisions of this Constitution.
- Approving the regulations and decisions made by the Ministries and other governmental agencies, within the jurisdiction of each, for the implementation of the laws according to their provision.
- Overseeing the implementation of laws, decrees, regulations and decisions.
- Proposing the establishment and the organization of government, agencies, institutions and public organizations according to the law.
- Superior control over the functioning of the governmental fiscal and administrative system.
- Appointing and dismissing the employees if the appointment and dismissal do not lie within the jurisdiction of the Prince or within the jurisdiction of Ministers according to the law.
- Setting the general rules capable of maintaining the internal security and securing the order within the State, according to the law.
- Managing the State fiscally and preparing the proposal of its public budget, according to this Constitution and the provisions of the law.
- Approving the economic projects and means of executing them.
- Supervising the means of safeguarding the State interests abroad and the methods of maintaining its international relations and its external affairs.
- Preparing a report at the beginning of every fiscal year, including a detailed presentation of the major tasks accomplished inside and outside, coupled with a plan outlining the best means capable of achieving the overall State development and securing the factors of its progress and prosperity, and maintaining its security and stability, according to the fundamental principles guiding the State's policy stipulated in this Constitution, and this report is submitted to the Prince for approval.
- Any other functions authorized by this Constitution or the law.
The Prince may ask the Prime Minister and the Ministers to submit reports relevant to any of the matters lying within their jurisdictions.
The Prime Minister and Ministers are collectively responsible before the Prince for the execution of the public policy of the Government, and each one is individually responsible before the Prince for the performance of his duties and the exercise of his functions.
The law determines the remunerations of the Prime Minister and Ministers. All provisions applicable to Ministers are applicable to the Prime Minister, unless otherwise stipulated.
The Prime Minister presides over the sessions of the Council, manages its debates, and supervises the coordination of work among the different ministries to realize the unity of government agencies and the integration of its activity. He signs in the name of the Council of Ministers and on its behalf the decisions made by the Council. The Council's decisions relevant to matters determined by the issuance of a Princely decision are submitted to the Prince for approval and issuance according to the provisions of this Constitution.
The meetings of the Council of Ministers have a quorum with the attendance of the majority of its Members including the Prime Minister or his Deputy. The Council's deliberations are secret, and its decisions are made by the approval of the majority of the attending Members. In case of a tie, the Prime Minister casts the winning vote. The minority abides by the opinion of the majority.
The Council of Ministers sets up its by-laws to organize its work. It shall have a Secretariat-General to assist it in performing its functions.
While assuming their offices, the Ministers must have for their objective, in their behavior, the interests of the Homeland, and not exploiting their official offices, in any manner, for their interests or the interest of those with whom they have a special relation.
The law determines the acts prohibited to the Ministers, and the acts committed by them while assuming their offices and necessitate their accountability, and it also determines the manner of this accountability.
Section V. The Judicial Power
Supremacy of the law is the basis of governing in the State. The honor of the Judiciary and the integrity of Judges and their justice are the guarantee of rights and freedoms.
Structure of the courts, Judicial independence
The Judicial Power is independent and is assumed by Court of different types and levels. They issue their decisions according to the law.
Judges are independent. In their judgment, they are dominated by no power except the law. No institution may interfere in the lawsuits or in the process of justice.
Establishment of military courts
The law regulates the courts with its different types and levels and defines their functions and jurisdictions. The jurisdiction of Military Courts is restricted, except in the case of martial law, to military crimes committed by members of the Armed Forces and Security Forces, within the limits specified by the law.
Right to public trial
Sessions of Courts are public, unless the Court decides holding them in camera for maintaining the public order or the public morals. Under all circumstances, pronouncing the judgment is in an open session.
Supreme/ordinary court judge removal
Judges are not removable, except in the cases specified by the law. The law also determines the provisions relevant to them and regulates their disciplinary accountability.
Litigation is an inviolable and guaranteed right to all the people. The law specifies the procedures and manners of exercising this right.
The Parquet assumes the public action in the name of the Society, oversees the judicial enforcement, and secures the implementation of criminal laws. The law organizes this body, regulates its functions, and defines the conditions and guarantees pertinence to those who assume its jobs.
Establishment of judicial council, Structure of the courts
The Judiciary has a Supreme Council to oversee the proper functioning of the courts and its auxiliary agencies. The law determines its formation, its functions, and its jurisdictions.
The law determines the specialized agency in the settlement of administrative disputes and defines its structure and the way it performs its functions.
The law regulates the way of settling the disputes over jurisdiction among the judicial bodies, and the conflict of judgments.
The law determines the judicial body competent to settle the disputes related to the constitutionality of the laws and regulations, defines its functions, the way to appeal, and the procedures to be followed before it. The law also defines the impact of a judgment of unconstitutionality.