The Qatar International Court brings together some of the most revered legal and judicial figures from around the world, known for their independence, impartiality and professional expertise. The Court, which specialises in the resolution of civil and commercial disputes, comprises a state of the art courtroom containing some of the most sophisticated courtroom technology in use today. Its ability to operate virtually is one of its key characteristics, providing access to justice without the need for physical attendance at hearings and trials.
The Court is serviced by a Registry, headed by the Registrar, which is responsible for the case management of the cases that come before the Court. The Registrar and his team of expert case managers and support staff are available to assist Court-users who have queries in relation to commencing a case, or who are seeking assistance as to the practices and procedures to be adopted before the Court.
Lord Phillips has been President of the Qatar International Court since 2012. Lord Phillips was appointed to the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court in England and Wales in 1987, a Lord Justice of Appeal in 1995 and a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary in 1999. Between 2000 and 2005 he held the position of Master of the Rolls before being appointed as Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, a post he held until 2008. Between 2008 and 2009 he was the Senior Lord of Appeal in Ordinary until he became the first President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom on the 1st October 2009, a position he held until he retired in October 2012. Lord Phillips was made a Knight Companion of the Order of the Garter on 23 April 2011 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. He is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Drapers and of the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights, and an honorary fellow of the Society of Advanced Legal Studies and University College London. He has received honorary degrees of Doctor of Laws (LL.D) from the Universities of Exeter (1998), Birmingham (2003) and London (2004) and the International Institute of Maritime Law, and of Doctor of Civil Law (D.CL) from City University, London (2003). He is also the current Chancellor at Bournemouth University. In addition, Lord Phillips holds the posts of President, British Maritime Law Association; Chairman, European Maritime Law Organisation; Patron, International Association of Arbitrators, Patron, Bingham Foundation, and Visiting Professor at the Dixon Poon School of Law, King's College, London.
Dr Hassan Al Sayed has been a judge of the Qatar International Court since 2010. Dr. Al Sayed is an Associate Professor of Law at Qatar University’s College of Law. He was Dean of the College of Law from 2007-2010, having received his doctorate in Law in 2003 from the University of East Anglia in the UK. As Dean of the College of Law, he played an important role in the separation of the College of Law from the College of Sharia (Islamic Studies) and developed a new independent legal curriculum which incorporated English language at the College.
Dr. Al Sayed previously practiced as a lawyer in Qatar specialising in constitutional law, administrative disputes and state contracts, and was formerly the Vice President of the Qatari Bar Association. He has been appointed to numerous committees, including the International Centre for Dialogue between Religions and the Bar Admission Committee. He has contributed to a weekly column in the renowned Qatar Al-Sharq newspaper and has published articles and opinions in several peer reviewed journals.
Chelva Rajah has been a judge of the Qatar International Court since 2011. He was President of the Law Society of Singapore from 1990-1992 and held the position of Judicial Commissioner of the High Court of Singapore from 1995-1997. He was appointed a Senior Counsel in 1998.
He is on the panel of Accredited Arbitrators at the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) and was appointed Chairman of Maxwell Chambers in 2008, a position he held until his appointment to the Board of SIAC in 2010. In 2011 he became the first Singapore appointed member of the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Arbitral Tribunal.
He is Senior Partner of the dispute resolution team at the law firm Tan Rajah and Cheah, based in Singapore, where he has developed a distinguished practice in both litigation and arbitration, particularly in substantial commercial disputes, property-related matters and insolvency. He was admitted to the Singapore Bar in 1972, and was called to the Bar of England and Wales by the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple.
Rashid Al Badr has held the position of Enforcement Judge of the Qatar International Court since 2012. Rashid was appointed Junior Magistrate of the Criminal Courts of First Instance in 1992 before becoming Senior Magistrate of the High Civil and Criminal Courts in 1996. From 2001-2003, he was Magistrate of the Court of Appeals before becoming Deputy Chairman of the Court of Appeals in 2003. In 2008, Rashid became the Chief Justice of the Court of Appeal, a position he still holds. He holds an LLB from the United Arab Emirates University, a post graduate Diploma from the University of Essex in England and an LLM in American Legal Studies from Case Western University in Ohio, USA.
Sir Robertson has been a judge of the Qatar International Court since 2013. Sir Robertson was appointed a Judge of the High Court in Auckland, New Zealand, in 1987, and was Executive Judge and a Judge of the Commercial List. He was a divisional member of the Court of Appeal from 1996 and was appointed a full-time member from 2005. He was President of the Law Commission from 2001-2005. He was formerly Acting Chief High Court Judge and Acting Chief Justice as the senior puisne Judge. He took early retirement in 2010 and continues to sit in various Pacific jurisdictions, holding a number of statutory and advisory roles.
He was Chairman to the Search and Search Warrants Committee which published its final report in 1988. From 2001-2005 he was President of the New Zealand Law Commission. He has been involved in professional training and advocacy and was President of the Legal Research Foundation. He has held various community posts within New Zealand and has written extensively, particularly in criminal law and law reform. He is one of a few New Zealand members of the American Law Institute; in 1995 he was an Inns of Court Fellow in London and in 1998 he was a Visitor at Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge.
Frances Kirkham has been a judge of the Qatar International Court since 2013. Frances Kirkham was a senior circuit judge, the designated Technology & Construction Court (TCC) judge in Birmingham, England. The majority of work undertaken was in the High Court, and was responsible for all TCC work that both initiated and transferred to Birmingham. Prior to this, she was partner at three national solicitors' practices in Birmingham. Between 2006 and 2011 she acted as Commissioner at the Judicial Appointments Commission, during which time she spoke at several meetings of the Irish, Franco-British Judicial Co-operation Committee. Frances spent a period at the Palais de Justice in Paris, where she observed the work of the French courts, specifically with regard to construction and engineering disputes.
Frances regularly acts as an arbitrator, adjudicator, and mediator, and completed her TCC judicial mediation training in 2010. She has worked as a deputy High Court judge in the Mercantile, Chancery and Administrative Courts, and has also undertaken general Queen’s Bench Division work. Frances has received numerous awards, including the Birmingham Law Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award and the Clare Edwards Memorial Award, recognising her extensive contribution to the practice of construction law. Notably, Frances was founder committee member and first secretary of the United Kingdom Association of Women Judges.
Lord Hamilton has been a judge of the Qatar International Court since 2015. Lord Hamilton was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1968 and appointed Queens Counsel (QC) in 1982. He was an Advocate Depute, a Scottish prosecutor, from 1982 until 1985, Chairman of the Medical Appeals Tribunals from 1988 to 1992 and President of the Pensions Appeal Tribunal in Scotland from 1992 to 1995. Over several months in 1992 to 1993, he acted as a temporary Sheriff Principal in the sheriffdom of Tayside, Central and Fife, due to the indisposition of the incumbent Sheriff Principal. From 1988 to 1995, he was a Judge of the Courts of Appeal of Jersey and Guernsey.
In 1995, Lord Hamilton was appointed a Senator of the College of Justice. Between 1997 and 2000, he was a full-time commercial judge dedicated to commercial business and responsible for oversight of that aspect of Court of Session business. In January 2002, he was appointed as a Judge of the Inner House of the Court of Session where he sat principally on appellate business. On 24 November 2005, the Scottish Executive announced that he would succeed Lord Cullen as Lord Justice General and Lord President of the Court of Session, upon the latter's appointment to the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords. Lord Hamilton took office on 2 December. As Lord President and Lord Justice General, he was responsible for the supervision of these Courts and for the determination of policy and rules of court procedure. He also made appointments to some tribunals and made recommendations to The Queen for the appointment of Queen’s Counsel.
George Arestis has been a judge of the Qatar International Court since 2015. George Arestis studied law at the Law School of Athens University, graduating in 1968. He subsequently went to England and read political science at the University of Kent at Canterbury, graduating in 1970 with a M.A. in Comparative Politics and Government.
After practising as a lawyer for ten years, he was appointed as a judge in 1982 and in 2003 he attained the office of Judge of the Supreme Court of Cyprus. He has been Cyprus’ first judge at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, a position from which he served for a period of ten years. In July 2013 he was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Law by the University of Kent.
He has given lectures on European Union law, mainly at universities, in Cyprus, Greece, the UK, Germany, Belgium and Bulgaria.
With an interest in poetry, he has published the collection of poems “To Taxidi mou” (“My Journey”) (2009).
Sir William Blair has been a judge of the Qatar International Court since 2017.
He graduated from the University of Oxford and practiced at the English Bar where he specialised in the law of banking and finance.
He became a Queen’s Counsel in 1994 and was Chairman of the Commercial Bar Association between 2003 and 2005. He was appointed a High Court Judge in England and Wales in 2008, and became President of the Board of Appeal of the European Supervisory Authorities in 2012. He served as Chairman of the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Tribunal until March 2011 and was a judge in London’s Commercial Court between 2008 and 2017, becoming Judge in Charge of the Commercial Court in 2016.
Sir William is a member of London’s Financial Markets Law Committee, and chairs the Monetary Law Committee of the International Law Association (MOCOMILA). He is a Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics (LSE), Peking University (PKU) and East China University of Political Science and Law (ECUPL).
In 2016, The College of Law at Qatar University (QU-LAWC) established the Sir William Blair Chair in Alternative Dispute Resolution.
In 2017, Sir William was appointed Professor of Financial Law and Ethics at Queen Mary University of London, based at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies.
In August 2018, he was appointed Chair of the Bank of England’s new Enforcement Decision Making Committee.
Sir Baker has been a supplementary judge of the Qatar International Court since 2011. Sir Baker was appointed a High Court Judge in the Family Division in England and Wales in 1988, having previously held judicial office as a Recorder and practised as a barrister specialising in a number of legal areas including family finance and professional negligence. He became a High Court Judge of the Queen’s Bench Division in 1993. He was Presiding Judge of the Wales and Chester Court Circuit from 1991-1995 and a member of the Parole Board from 1999-2002. He was the Lead Judge of the Administrative Court from 2000-2002 and was appointed a Lord Justice of Appeal in 2002.
He was a member of the Committee that inquired into human fertilisation from 1982-1984, chaired by Mary Warnock, which led to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990. From 2007-2008 he was coroner for the inquests into the deaths of Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed, and more recently conducted an official review of the US-UK Extradition Treaty.
Sir Cresswell has been a supplementary judge of the Qatar International Court since 2011. Sir Cresswell was a Judge of the High Court, Queen’s Bench Division, and the Commercial and Admiralty Courts in England and Wales from 1991-2007. He was responsible, as judge in charge of the Commercial Court from 1993-1994, for the first Practice Direction which encouraged litigants to consider mediation as an alternative to expensive and time consuming litigation. He was Judge in charge of the Lloyd’s Litigation from 1993-1996, the largest piece of civil litigation in the UK. He retired in 2008 at a relatively young age to pursue his interests in mediation and arbitration.
Since retiring he has sat as a Deputy High Court Judge in London and as an additional Judge of the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands. He has extensive experience in dealing with commercial claims including, in particular, claims relating to: insurance and re-insurance; banking and financial services; shipping and the construction of ships; the exploitation of oil and gas reserves and other natural resources; the carriage of goods; export and import of goods; arbitration; international disputes between states; business contracts; the operation of markets and exchanges; the purchase and sale of commodities; major construction projects/domestic and international; business agency; and disputes concerning information technology.
Christopher Grout has been Registrar of the QFC Regulatory Tribunal and Qatar International Court since 2012. Christopher Grout was Called to the Bar of England and Wales by the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple in 2007. From 2007 to 2009 he worked for the Ministry of Justice at the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) in the Royal Courts of Justice, London. In 2009, he joined 15 New Bridge Street, the Chambers of David Aaronberg QC, where he specialised as a criminal defence barrister appearing in the Magistrates Courts, Youth Courts, Crown Court, High Court and Court of Appeal.
He holds an LL.B degree from the University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and is a member of the Criminal Bar Association, Extradition Lawyers Association and the Ecclesiastical Law Society, having written for the Ecclesiastical Law Journal. He has a keen interest in the development of legal education and has lectured widely whilst in the United Kingdom and Qatar.
The judges of the Qatar International Court are appointed to the Court based upon their legal and judicial expertise in the resolution of civil and commercial disputes. They come from a variety of common law and civil jurisdictions. The judges of the Court observe a Judicial Code of Conduct , the guiding principles of which are independence, impartiality, integrity and propriety.