The Impact of Islamic Criminal Law on the Qatari Penal Code

In: Arab Law Quarterly

Abstract

The Qatari legislator has adopted a penal code that encompasses rules derived from a divine source and also deals with several other crimes common in positive penal laws. Whoever reads the Qatari Penal Code will notice the significant influence that Islamic criminal rules have had on that law. Its inaugural article unequivocally provides that rules of Islamic law (shariah) shall apply to all crimes of hudud, qisas and diya if a special condition is met. In all other cases, however, shariah rules still permeate the entire code through the proscription of acts derived from shariah law. This article thus aims to present a concise overview of the contemporary Qatari experience in adopting rules derived from Islamic criminal law into its penal code, for the purpose of highlighting its points of strength, as well as identifying points of weakness to overcome.