Kuwait Law: How can I get a release from my company?

Posted by Fajer Ahmed

Hello everyone, although I haven’t posted here in a while, I have been reading your questions and emails. Over and over there is one question that is constantly being asked so I have decided to post the answer here, so you can all benefit.

“How can I get a release from my company?”

This question is not as simple as it seems, the answer depends on a few things (I am assuming you work in the private sector and Kuwait Labor Law 6/2010 applies to you):
1) If you have passed the 100 day probation period or not
2) The type of contract you have (specified or not specified)
3) Whether your employer was providing you with your rights as per Kuwait Labor Law

So therefore I tried to simplify the answer in a flow chart below:

chart

I really don’t like how some employers are keeping foreigners here against their will by using a specified contract, putting travel bans against them and doing other manipulative things. This isn’t a perception I have but stories I keep hearing EVERY SINGLE DAY! So my advice to you is, if you want to leave and they won’t let you go, email your boss with all the things they are doing that are against the law or your contract, for example withholding your passport, not paying you on time, not paying you over time, working more than 8 hours a day and so on (Read your rights here)

Also I would like to take some cases pro-bono with a help of lawyer friends, so please email you if you feel your employer is not being rightful!

As for company’s please read this link that has employee rights, you have no excuse to treat foreigners this way.

If you have any further questions please write them below, I will try to answer you here.

Post by Fajer Ahmed – Legal Counsel
The legal opinions expressed in this post are those of the author Fajer. Opinions expressed by Mark or any other writer on 248am.com are those of the individual’s and in no way reflect Fajer’s opinion.


google plus share facebook share twitter share

Kuwait Law: Obtaining a commercial licence online

Posted by Fajer Ahmed

Local newspapers today are reporting that the Ministry of Commerce and Industries is working on providing a service for locals to apply/obtain commercial permits online. The Municipality, Fire Departments and Civil Services will all be connected online. It should be up and running early next year and it will take a lot less time and a lot less paper work to get things done. It’s a system that’s already in place in neighboring countries like UAE and Qatar. [Source]

Post by Fajer Ahmed – Legal Counsel
The legal opinions expressed in this post are those of the author Fajer. Opinions expressed by Mark or any other writer on 248am.com are those of the individual’s and in no way reflect Fajer’s opinion.


google plus share facebook share twitter share

Kuwait Law: SME’s and New Businesses in Kuwait

Posted by Fajer Ahmed

mayor

As a commercial lawyer and the owner of a small business (Q8BookStore) I was pleased to attend a discussion panel held last week by the British Embassy on small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Even though it was great to hear Mohammed H. Alsahya and the Mayor of London Speak about SME’s, I was actually more interested to hear Dr. Mohammed Alzuhair, the executive chairman for Kuwait’s SME fund.

Dr. Mohammed Alzuhair spoke about the government’s new vision for encouraging business in Kuwait. The government of Kuwait has really been trying to develop business in Kuwait for locals and foreigners alike and new important laws have been issued with practical changes, such as:

1) New companies law 79/2013 – Now we can have non-profit companies in Kuwait.

2) New commercial permit’s law 111/2013 – Apparently you can get a commercial permit by applying online. I’ll be investigating this soon.

3) SME fund law 98/2013 – A 1 billion Kuwaiti Dinars fund to support SME’s in Kuwait and rumor has it that their permits will be separate

4) Promotion of direct investments in Kuwait 116/2013 – Kuwait Foreign Investment Bureau is turning into an authority, all sectors will be open to foreign investors, and foreign investors will be allowed an equity share of up to 100%.

The laws are changing and I am excited to understand these changes. If you have an SME or you’re considering launching a start-up soon and want to get an email with related information, email me on sme@fajerthelawyer.com with the following info: your name, job position (at your SME and/or daytime job), type of business.

If you have more information about the above laws and would like to share changes also email me at sme@fajerthelawyer.com

Post by Fajer Ahmed – Legal Counsel
The legal opinions expressed in this post are those of the author Fajer. Opinions expressed by Mark or any other writer on 248am.com are those of the individual’s and in no way reflect Fajer’s opinion.


google plus share facebook share twitter share

Kuwait Law: The Alcohol Post

Posted by Fajer Ahmed

Kuwait is one of the few countries in the world where alcohol is not available. The topic is also confusing with people having different assumptions on what is legal and what isn’t. We all know it is illegal to sell alcohol but is it illegal to buy? Are we allowed to have alcohol for personal consumption? Is it illegal to make?

Article 206 of Kuwait Penal Law no.16 promulgated in 1960 states:

206(a) – Any person who brings, imports or manufactures alcoholic or intoxicating beverages for the purpose of trading shall be panelized for a period not exceeding 10 years.

The article doesn’t mention anything about purchasing alcohol but what about if you bring or manufacture alcohol for personal use? The article clearly states that you are only punished if it is “for the purpose of trading”. Lets read Article 206(b)

206(b) – However, if the intention of bringing, importing or manufacturing is not trading or promotion, the person shall be penalized with a fine not exceeding KD100 and should he repeat this act the penalty shall be for a period not more than six months and/or a fine of not more than KD100.

So I guess the first time you get alcohol into Kuwait for personal use you are fined only but the next time you can go to jail and/or fined. The same applies for manufacturing alcohol for personal consumption.

206(d) – Any person who takes alcoholic or intoxicating beverages to a public place or to a place where he may be seen by others be it a public place or a private club, and any person who brings the alcoholic or intoxicating beverage to the said place for another person to consume shall be penalized for a period not exceeding 6 months and/or fined not more than KD50.

Any person who is found drunk will be punished the same.

So the law abstains from mentioning much about personal consumption of alcohol so therefore it is not a crime to drink inside your private space (house/apartment) just as long as you don’t step outside if you are drunk.

Please be careful and stay legal people.

Post by Fajer Ahmed – Legal Counsel
The legal opinions expressed in this post are those of the author Fajer. Opinions expressed by Mark or any other writer on 248am.com are those of the individual’s and in no way reflect Fajer’s opinion.


google plus share facebook share twitter share

Kuwait laws you don’t need to know: Procedures for Pilgrims Returning to Kuwait

Posted by Fajer Ahmed

Its been a while since I have written about laws you don’t need to know (part of a series), this one is for everyone that just came back from Hajj. Decree No. 34 from the year 1960, Regarding the Health Control Procedures for Pilgrims Returning to Kuwait:

(Article 2) “every pilgrim must come to the health environment doctor, in the area where he resides, within 24 hours from the time of his arrival for a medical examination. He must then come 48 hours after the first examinations and a third time 48 hours after the second examinations”

(Article 4) “the public health department shall have the right to sterilize the pilgrims luggage, if necessary it shall also have the right to destroy it”

(Article 5) “all violators of this law shall be imprisoned for a period that shall not exceed 3 months and a fine that shall not exceed 300 hundred rupees”

I personally found a lot of interesting things about this law but the most impressive to me was how organized Kuwait was back in the day to consider the safety of the other people and to state something like biological tests (we’re talking 1960 here). I just find that fascinating.

Post by Fajer Ahmed – Legal Counsel
Have a Kuwait law related question? Email me at ask@fajerthelawyer.com

The legal opinions expressed in this post are those of the author Fajer. Opinions expressed by Mark or any other writer on 248am.com are those of the individual’s and in no way reflect Fajer’s opinion.

Photo above from 1954 taken from [Here]


google plus share facebook share twitter share

Kuwait Law: Indecent Acts

Posted by Fajer Ahmed

A video of youngsters kissing in a car went viral yesterday and controversy followed. Information on the youngsters names, job positions and even stuff about their families started spreading between people. I am bitter, I think if you do see something that might harm a person’s reputation or get a person in legal trouble then DO NOT SHARE!

Lets look at Article 198 from the Kuwait Penal Law,

“Any person who makes an indecent sign or an act in a public place in such a manner that he is seen or is heard by whoever is in a public place, or he imitates the other sex in any form of forms, shall be punished with imprisonment for a period that shall not exceed one year and a fine that shall not exceed one thousands Dinars or by either of the penalties”

The Article is very vague and includes a variety of acts as crimes. Let us break it down:

1) “an indecent sign or an act in a public place” – this means anything from making out, to giving the middle finger, to writing a swear word, seriously who decides what is indecent?

2) “in such a manner that he is seen or is heard by whoever is in a public place” – so it doesn’t have to take place IN the public place as long as it could be seen/heard FROM a public place, so basically in your car, your office if the windows are open and your not private twitter account are all applicable.

3) “he/she imitates the other sex in any form of forms” – and who decides this too? Its 2013, products are turning unisex, seriously me and Mark have the same purple shorts.

What they did was not smart but let us just hope that they just get fined, and I quote Mark – “that’s excitement in Kuwait for ya”

Post by Fajer Ahmed – Legal Counsel
Have a Kuwait law related question? Email me at ask@fajerthelawyer.com

The legal opinions expressed in this post are those of the author Fajer. Opinions expressed by Mark or any other writer on 248am.com are those of the individual’s and in no way reflect Fajer’s opinion.


google plus share facebook share twitter share

Kuwait Law: Why Rupees?

Posted by Fajer Ahmed

So a lot of you have a read a few of my posts discussing different crimes under the Kuwaiti Penal Law and how the punishments were in Rupees. This caused quite a stir with a lot of people with many asking why the punishments were in Rupees instead of Kuwaiti Dinars. Some of the readers even claimed that those laws no longer applied because the punishments were in Rupees. Firstly that’s not true, the laws are still valid even though they are in Rupees. Secondly, below is an explanation on why Kuwait uses Rupees instead of Kuwaiti Dinars:

The History of the Use of Rupees in Kuwait
They were called the Arabian Gulf Rupees by the people that called our area the Arabian Gulf, and they were also called the Persian Rupees by the people that called our area the Persian Gulf. I decided that I am going to call them the Penal Law Rupees in this post.

The Penal Law Rupees were used in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and the Trucial States (now famously known as UAE or should I just say Dubai). They were printed by India and it was used in Kuwait from 1959-1961. You can still find them on eBay selling from a few hundred dollars and all the way up to a few thousand dollars (I am so totally going through my granddads closet today! http://www.ebay.com/bhp/india-gulf-rupee).

The laws that have rupees as punishments and their implications
The Penal Law was promulgated (published) in 1960 which is why the punishments were in Rupees since that was the currency of Kuwait at that time. The currency was changed to Kuwaiti Dinars in 1961 (thanks to our awesome Constitution) and a new law had to be promulgated to change the Rupees to dinars. But you know how things take time in Kuwait and it took a little bit longer than expected to get this sorted… around 24 years.

In 1985 law no. 9 was published “for the replacement of the rupees by the Kuwaiti Dinar wherever stated in the Laws”, and in Article 1 of the law it states that rupees shall be exchanged to 75 fils, wherever they are mentioned in Kuwaiti Law.

So this is why Kuwait uses Rupees in the Kuwait Penal Law. If you want to read more about the Rupees history check out my sources [Here] and [Here].

If anyone finds Rupees in their mums closet then please email us a photo.

Post by Fajer Ahmed – Legal Counsel
Have a Kuwait law related question? Email me at ask@fajerthelawyer.com

The legal opinions expressed in this post are those of the author Fajer. Opinions expressed by Mark or any other writer on 248am.com are those of the individual’s and in no way reflect Fajer’s opinion.


google plus share facebook share twitter share

Kuwait Law: Street Art and Abandoned Buildings

Posted by Fajer Ahmed

I am a big fan of street art and one of my favorite past times is to explore old Kuwaiti buildings looking for graffiti, taking photos and maybe collecting old bullets from the gulf war. But is it a crime to walk into old deserted buildings that the owner has neglected? Is it vandalism to tag those walls? Do the owners even know they are the owners?

I have to be honest, this topic is not something widely discussed in law school or at the office and I have never heard of a private law that discusses these matters, all I know of is the Kuwaiti Penal Law (yeah yeah yeah, the one with Rupees) include the rules for vandalism and trespassing. So let us look at the laws together:

1) Street Art or Vandalism?

First thing first, if you’re planning to tag a building you need to keep the following in mind. The building must not be a prayer place, a public office, a governmental building or a school building. The building should be abandoned with no one living in it or no one intending to fix it up to live in it (For example the amazing parking lot in old Salmiya and most of Failika island). I am also assuming your art is not just two circles with a pointy long oval in the middle.

If you want your canvas to be a new apartment complex or a mexican restaurant or a bookstore, then do what the amazing Monstariam does; get written consent from the owners first. Otherwise if the building has half a floor knocked off, no ceiling and 300 bullets have gone through it, then enjoy it. Just don’t be offensive please.

2) Exploring or Trespassing?

Article 254 and 255 both talk about entering buildings/trespassing owned by other people, but they also claim that the buildings should be in a possession of another person or inhabited by a person or is being prepared from someone to live in; and so the places that Mark (and I) have visited or intend to visit do not fall under those two articles.

PS: Does anyone have any creative ideas I could use with my collected bullets, please don’t tell me necklace.

Post by Fajer Ahmed – Legal Counsel
Have a Kuwait law related question? Email me at ask@fajerthelawyer.com

The legal opinions expressed in this post are those of the author Fajer. Opinions expressed by Mark or any other writer on 248am.com are those of the individual’s and in no way reflect Fajer’s opinion.


google plus share facebook share twitter share

Kuwait Law: Defamation Online

Posted by Fajer Ahmed

So last week, Mark got accused of defamation and I just so happened to be working on a case regarding defamation at the office which is why I decided to write about it in this post.

What is defamation?
Defamation is an umbrella where all these other acts fall under: libel, calumny, vilification, slander and traducement (lawyers and their complicated words). Basically what defamation means is the coommunication of false statements that harms an individual/company/product/doggy/sect/book/religion/object etc

I know what you guys are most likely thinking, how can someone be accused of defamation for something written online? Most of you have most likely heard someone say there are no internet crimes in Kuwait. Well, that’s not true. Yes, technically there is no law dedicated to what happens online and there is no law that states anything about what anyone does virtually except for the new commercial law that has one article stating that board members can join board members meetings virtually (which I thought was awesome). But, just because there are no laws that regulate anything that takes place online it does not mean you can not get punished in Kuwait for defamation. So lets look at the law:

Article 209
“Any person who attributes to another, in a public place or within the earshot or sight of a person other that the victim, an event which hurts his reputation, shall be punished by incarceration for a period not exceeding 2 years and a fine not exceeding two thousand Rupees or either of both penalties”

Okay I know the article is not clear, and there was a lot of debate when I was back in law school whether this article can be implemented on someone that is defamed virtually. Thanks to the ministry, they’ve stated that it does apply. Here is a link to a statement by the MOI [Link]. There is even a case where Article 209 was used against tweeps.

There is also a department for cyber-crime in the MOI that falls under the General Department of Criminal Investigation.

So what does all the above mean? Do we or do we not have freedom of speech in Kuwait? Are we not allowed to state our opinions? Well we do have freedom of speech by the constitution and to some extent, we enjoy that in newspapers and on twitter. You can state your opinion but you need to state facts and you have to have good intentions and not harm anyones reputation or be rude.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Note: There is another article for defamation in newspapers under law no.3 for 2006 and other crimes can happen online.

Post by Fajer Ahmed – Legal Counsel
Have a Kuwait law related question? Email me at ask@fajerthelawyer.com

The legal opinions expressed in this post are those of the author Fajer. Opinions expressed by Mark or any other writer on 248am.com are those of the individual’s and in no way reflect Fajer’s opinion.


google plus share facebook share twitter share

Kuwait Law: Sexual Crimes

Posted by Fajer Ahmed

Last week I was helping out a friend with a university project related to sexual crimes under Kuwait’s Penal Law and I thought it would be something interesting to share on the blog as well because there’s a lot of confusion on the subject. Whether you or I agree or do not agree with the law, please stay safe and legal readers.

Note: Where I have written a person is guilty and age does not matter, that means the age does not matter for the crime to occur. That does not mean the person gets punished if underaged, instead juvenile laws are followed.

Read the rest of this entry »


google plus share facebook share twitter share

Page 1 of 3123



Contribute

If you have anything you think would be interesting to share on this blog
[Email Me]