The Permanent Constitution Committee
On the 13th July 1999 the State of Qatar embarked on a new phase of it modem history when the Emir, H.H. Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, issued the Emiri Decree No (11) to form a high level committee to draft a new, permanent constitution for the country. In a historic speech given on this occasion, H.H. the Emir explained that the constitution is the essential document that contains the basic guidelines for the State's policies in various fields. It organizes the authorities and the system of rule and determines the rights and obligations of government and citizens. H.H. the Emir stressed the need to expand the scope of public participation by setting up an elected Council of representatives. He also specified the basic features of Qatar's forthcoming permanent constitution, which, as he envisages it, should reflect the true Gulf, Arab and Islamic affiliation of the country as well as the genuine Arab traditions and lofty Islamic fundamental teachings that are deeply rooted in the society.
- The committee, named the Permanent Constitution Drafting Committee, was formed, with a membership of a chairman, a deputy chairman and 30 members. The Decree ordered the committee to draft a new, permanent constitution for the country in an initial three-year period, during which the committee should keep H.H. the Emir informed of work development at a 6-month time frequency before it finally submits to him its product with recommendations.
- On the 2nd of July 2002 H.H Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani received the document of the draft permanent constitution, which will lay down the basic order of the society, organize the authority of the State, embody the popular participation and guarantee the rights and freedoms for the citizens. The constitution is composed of 5 chapters and 150 articles and it stipulates the formation of an elected parliament to be called the Advisory Council, two third of whose members are elected by direct ballot while the remaining one third will be appointed. The Council shall have legislative powers as well as the authority to ratify the general budget and question the cabinet ministers and the executive authorities.
- Articles of the Draft Constitution of Qatar