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The basis of law in Qatar is the Sharia.  The legal system has been influenced to some extent by Egyptian legislation. Previously family law in Qatar was uncodified, however a draft personal status code was produced in 2004.  The information in this text concerning custody and guardianship is based on this draft, however, at present we do not have confirmation that this draft was enforced.
Law 23 of 2002 established the Supreme Council for Family Affairs.  The role of this body is to promote the role of the family in society, protect and promote familial ties, ensure the implementation of treaties that impact on the family, enable women to play a role in social, political and economic life and improve working women’s rights.

Islam is the official religion of Qatar and the majority of the population are Sunni Muslims following the Hanbali School of Islamic Law.

Available Information

reunite´s Summary Text for Qatar 
Legal Texts

•    Constitution 2003

•    Extracts of Personal Status Law 2004 (Draft) (Arabic)

•    Unofficial Translation of Extracts of Draft Personal Status Law

•    Nationality Act, 1961 (Arabic)  

•    Extracts of the Penal Code, 1971 (repealed) (Arabic)

•    Penal Code, Law 11 of 2004

•    Extract Penal Code (unofficial translation)

•    Law 5/2003 On the Establishment of the Qatar Society for the Protection of Women and Children  (Arabic)

•    Law 1/2001 On the Establishment of a Centre for Children with Special Needs

•    Law 23/2002 On the High Council for Family Affairs

•    Law 38/1995 On the Safeguarding of Society

•    Law 20/1996 on Guardianship of the Finances of Minors

•    Law 16/1981 On the Increase of Student Grants


•    Convention on the Rights of the Child Report


•    Summary of the Judiciary (POGAR)

•    Summary of the Judiciary (Infoprod)

•    Family Law Summary (Emory)

•    International Parental Child Abduction (US State dept.)