On 15 March 2023, the Amir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamimi Bin Hamad Al Thani, issued Law No. 1 of 2023 on Authentication (the "Authentication Law"), which will be effective when published in the Official Gazette.

The Authentication Law comes to replace Law No. 9 of 1979, which would mark a major update on authentication services, systems and procedures after 44 years of the issuance of the old law. The Ministry of Justice in Qatar noted that the Authentication Law will be up-to-date and will keep pace with the objectives of Qatar’s 2030 National Vision.

The Ministry of Justice also commented that the Authentication Law will introduce - for the first time in Qatar – the concept of the notary. Under the old law, the authentication and certification of documents were exclusively handled by the Ministry of Justice.

It is also anticipated that the Authentication Law will introduce ways to authenticate documents, contracts and records electronically. The ambit of the electronic authentication of such documents is still unclear. However, during a previous conversation with an official at the Ministry of Justice, he mentioned that they will introduce an option to notarise documents via video conferencing platforms, which might be covered under the new Authentication Law. This would give a great deal of flexibility to contractors and the general public, as it would offer the chance to have documents notarised without the need to meet the notary in public or even be physically in Qatar when the notarisation of a document is taking place.

We will share a full review and analysis of the Authentication Law as soon as it is published in the Official Gazette and will keep you posted.