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Transpanting the Unidroit Contract Principles into the Qatar Financial Center: a fresh paradigm for wholesale legal transplants?
Uniform Law Review  (IF),  Pub Date : 2021-08-01, DOI: 10.1093/ulr/unab016
Bantekas I.

The Qatar Financial Center (QFC) decided to adopt a set of Contract Regulations that are effectively the equivalent of its contracts statute. The QFC does not have a civil code. The Regulations are largely predicated on the Unidroit Principles of International Commercial Contracts (PICC). Even so, its drafters introduced, in addition, elements peculiar to the common law of contracts that are not found in the PICC, and the QFC Court, which is largely composed of a common law-inclined bench, has made it clear in many of its cases that common law judgments and English statutes can and will serve as authority in the interpretation of the Contract Regulations. The situation is further complicated by the fact that the Regulations are meant to apply in a broader legal system (that of Qatar), which recognizes several elements of Islamic law in the context of public policy—although generally Islamic law plays a very minor role, if at all, in the ordinary Qatari law of contracts. Despite the complexity underlying the Contract Regulations, its relevant success—to date—is firmly premised on the fact that the process of legal transplantation was not undertaken in a vacuum, but, rather, it is a ‘living instrument’ that is acceptable and, above all, useful to its stakeholders. Much like other contract law-related legal transplants taking root in other special economic zones, so too the QFC Contract Regulations represent an excellent paradigm as to how wholesale legal transplants can be undertaken.