Qatari legislation protects the Arabic language
Qatar is an Arab State, so the authority has paid close attention to legislation protecting the Arabic language; Article 1 of the Permanent Constitution of the State provides for the Arabic of the State of Qatar, the official language of which is Arabic; Article 68 of the Code of Civil and Commercial Procedure also stipulates that (the language of the courts is Arabic. The court may, however, hear the statements of opponents or witnesses who do not know this language by means of an interpreter swearing-in prior to the performance of his or her mission, by making a proper and honest translation), So Courts do not accept documents written in a language other than Arabic, they must be translated, otherwise, they will not be considered by the court.
In 2019, Act No. 7 was passed to protect the Arabic language; contains 13 articles, which outlined the obligation of all government agencies to use, support, and protect the Arabic language, and that the Arabic language should be the language of legislation, education, research, etc.; The legislator has arranged for the violation of these provisions, which is punishable by a fine of up to 50 thousand Qatari rials.
The Consumer Protection Act No. 8 of 2008 – with its Executive Regulations – was also a role to protect the Arabic language; The Consumer Protection Department is based on an inspection by one of its employees of corporate or market headquarters; the construction of complaints submitted to them, in violation of the non-use of Arabic in invoices, cash receipt or other documents relating to the consumers; This is because the texts seem to be very clear in indicating the necessity, obligation of the service provider to write invoices in Arabic, whether in the provisions of Act No. 8 of 2008 on consumer protection (article No: 7), or Regulations implementing the Consumer Protection Act issued by the Minister of Trade and Industry No. 68 of 2012 (article No: 8).
Article 4 of the Rules of Procedure provides that: “The provider shall submit to the consumer, in Arabic, an invoice attesting to the transaction or contracting of the goods or services, without any additional burden to the consumer, including the following data:
1. The provider’s name and address and the date of the bill.
2. The type of commodity or service and its essential qualities.
3. The vending unit.
4. Quantity of goods or number of units sold. the condition of the commodity if used. The price of the goods or the service fee in the real.
5. Delivery date.
6. Signature or seal of the provider or its legal agent.
7. The serial number of the goods and the parts contained therein.
Article 17 of the Consumer Protection Act also stipulates that (the declarations and statements provided for in articles 7, 8 and 11 of this chapter shall be in Arabic and may be used in other languages besides Arabic).
Articles 8 and 11 of the same Act set out the issues that the service provider should do when dealing with the consumer; Article 8 provides that: “When offering goods for trading, the provider shall be obliged to make an apparent record of the price or to make it officially known at the place where the goods are offered. The consumer has the right to receive a dated bill specifying the type, price, and quantity of the commodity and any other data specified in the implementing regulations of this Act.
The Act then linked this to the way the provider of the service or commodity must deal with the consumer in terms of the detail, clarity, security of the service or commodity, etc. (The provider shall clearly specify the service data, characteristics, characteristics, and prices of the service it provides and shall be obliged to ensure that the service it has performed within a period commensurate with the nature of the service and to return the amount paid by the recipient of the service or to perform it again properly.
The text of article 18 of the Consumer Protection Act No. 8 of 2008 has been amended twice; The first was under Decree-Law No. 14 of 2011 and the second under Act No. 7 of 2018, where the legislator increased the penalty contained in the text of the first paragraph of article 18 in the latest amendment to the article with the addition of provisions in other paragraphs relating to the closure of the shop for the rest of the text and the addition of the words “bis” to the article; It should be noted that the text of article 18 is contained in three successive articles – all under the same article. So became the text of article 18, paragraph (1), is read as follows: (Without prejudice to any more severe penalty provided for in another Act, anyone who violates any of the provisions of Chapter III of this Act shall be punished with imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, with a fine of not less than Three thousand Riyals and not more than Million Riyals.
However, in spite of these provisions, the legislator, in article 22 of the Act, makes up for violations of the Consumer Protection Act before or after the proceedings are brought until such time as a final judgment is handed down; The text of the article which may be reconciled reads as follows: “The Minister or his delegate may reconcile in any of the offenses provided for in this Act, prior to the commencement of criminal proceedings or at the time of their hearing and before a final decision is reached, in exchange for the payment of a sum not less than two times the minimum fine, not exceeding two times the maximum, and the termination of criminal proceedings.”
Author: MR. MOHANAD BABIKER\ Senior Legal Consultant