The Qatar legal system is civil code jurisdiction, which is common with most GCC countries and finds its origins in the Egyptian civil legal system (which in turn is based on the Napoleonic Civil Code) and Sharia law.

While Qatar is a hereditary Emirate, it enacted a constitution in 2005, which provides for a separation of powers. The executive function is vested in the Emir (who also ratifies legislation) and the Cabinet of Ministers. The legislative function is vested in the Shoura (Advisory) Council, which is a body with 45 members (30 are elected and 15 are appointed by the Emir). According to the Constitution the Shoura (Advisory) Council will have powers: (1) to approve (but not prepare) the national budget; (2) to monitor the performance of ministers through no confidence votes; and (3) to draft discuss and vote for proposed legislation, which shall  become law only with the vote of a two thirds majority and the Emir’s endorsement. However to date no general election has taken place and in 2013 the election was indefinitely postponed and the Shoura Council’s term was extended. The judiciary is independent.