A huge project to build a court complex which will contain all courts of Qatar within one building has been finalised and the land for this has been allocated and it is expected to be completed within five years, director of the Administrative and Financial Affairs division at the Supreme Judiciary Council, Abdulaziz Alshiekh, said yesterday.
The cost of the new building is expected to exceed QR150mn, but its location has not been disclosed yet.
He said some of the current courts buildings are rented and cannot be modified to accommodate the targeted use but a lot of e-services have been introduced to ease the litigation processes.
The new headquarters of Qatar Supreme Judiciary Council (SJC), which also houses the Court of Cassation and the Court of Appeal, is a highly sophisticated and a well equipped building. It is located on Rayyan road, opposite Women’s Hospital. It has a number of administrative offices, offices for lawyers, and waiting areas for men and women. There are also several court halls, including a family court hall, an administrative court hall, three criminal court halls and five civil court halls. The court halls are equipped with microphones, speakers, and monitoring cameras. There are also monitors outside each hall to display the information of the cases processed.
The building also has a big legal library stocked with legal books and references. The library is open during working hours for lawyers, researchers, judges and members of the prosecution.
The building also is equipped with modern security gates and monitoring cameras everywhere.
Abdulrahman Aljaber, deputy director of courts registrar, said that SJC is working to make litigation information accessible electronically and they are creating an electronic archive to document all cases dealt with. Registering cases would be also available electronically. He also said that an international company specialized in this field has been engaged to install a new system to facilitate and ease the procedure of litigation for lawyers, judges and parties of litigation. “The system would be available within one year and a half. However, quality and security of application is highly stressed. Therefore, there is a plan to treat all the anticipated defects and shortcomings in the programme.”
An e-judiciary encyclaopedia has also been created, which is considered a pioneer and unique work in the Middle East. It is available in Arabic and English and there are plans to have a French version.
Alshiekh pointed out that currently Al-Sadd Court has been divided into a criminal court and a family court, with both having separate entrances. The civil courts have been moved to Dafna Court. He also said that the family court in the new plan would have its own independent building that will be suitable for confidential and sensitive cases.
Regarding the process of Qatarisation within SJC, he said that the council is a pioneer in this effort and it constantly offers Qataris jobs and 100 nationals have been employed within a year. He indicated that great incentives are offered to attract Qataris to work as court clerks because the job is highly demanding. He also said that SJC gave a special place for employing the handicapped and positioning them in the suitable places, not only from among Qataris but also from residents who are citizens of GCC. So far, there are 12 physically challenged employees at SJC.
Qatari women also have a big share of administrative jobs at SJC. They occupy more than 130 positions.
SJC is also working to develop its translation department and include more languages ensuring the skill and professionalism of the translators.
Talal Almaliki, head of the Public Relations and Media Department, hailed the role of the local press and media in communicating the message of SJC and asked for any feedback, so they would be able to improve the services offered.
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