Distinguished constitutional law experts share observations on upcoming Shura Council elections
To coincide with the celebration of Qatar National Day, the College of Law at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) recently presented an online colloquium Reflections on Democracy and the Constitution of Qatar.
Framing the first public discussion of this subject was the recent announcement by His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, the Amir of the State of Qatar, that the country will hold the first elections for its Shura Council (Advisory Council) in 2021, in accordance with the Permanent Constitution. The Shura Council is Qatar’s legislative body, also responsible for determining the general budget and providing a check on executive powers. The election of 30 of its 45 members is considered an important step toward the wider participation of the country’s citizenship in its legislative process.
Susan L. Karamanian, dean of the College of Law, HBKU, opened the highly anticipated forum, which was moderated by Ms. Aisha Al-Naama, lecturer, College of Law, HBKU. The distinguished panel of speakers featured one of the leading scholars of constitutional law in Qatar, Dr. Hassan Al-Sayed, professor of law, Qatar University College of Law, and judge, Qatar International Court and Dispute Resolution Centre. Of additional significance was the presentation by Brigadier Salem Saqr Al Muraikhi, director of the Legal Affairs Department at the Ministry of Interior. General Al Muraikhi, a member of the newly established Supreme Committee to prepare for the Shura Council elections, provided unique insight into the proposed Shura Council election process.
Sharing their scholarly knowledge during the event were Dr. Barry Solaiman, assistant professor, College of Law, HBKU, and Dr. Richard Albert, William Stamps Farish Professor in Law and professor of Government and Director of Constitutional Studies, The University of Texas at Austin, who has published over 20 books on the study of constitutionalism.
Speaking after the webinar, Dean Karamanian of the College of Law, said: “We thank each of our speakers for sharing their learned insights during this colloquium, timed to celebrate Qatar National Day. Our intent was to encourage an open discourse and bridge the gap between the public and the important institutional developments taking shape in Qatar. The College of Law at HBKU is highly engaged in a variety of legal issues affecting Qatar. We hope our work helps the country, and on this occasion, in particular, enable Qatar to better navigate its upcoming political journey.”
The College of Law regularly holds events showcasing its research interests and activities. For more information please visit cl.hbku.edu.qa.