The Qatar International Court Introduces A New Small Claims Practice Direction
February 27, 2022
In order to ensure swift, fair, and cost-effective dispute resolution, the Qatar International Court and Dispute Resolution Centre issued Practice Direction No. 1 of 2022 relating to small claims (“Direction”). The purpose of the Direction is to reduce the amount of time required to reach a judgment with respect to small claims.
The Direction applies to claims of up to and including QR 100,000, which are categorised as small claims. These small claims cases will be directed to a specialist small claims track of the First Instance Circuit of the Court. There are no filing fees for such claims, and judgments will usually be decided on the submissions or by virtual hearings, instead of in-person appearances before the court.
Once the small claim case has been assigned to the specialist track, a claimant will have seven days to serve the claim form and supporting documentation on the defendant. This service period is considerably shorter than the current four months afforded for regular cases. The defendant will then have fourteen days to file a response (as opposed to the previous 28 day deadline).
The new Directive comes into effect on March 1, 2022.