Kuwait Law: How a Law Becomes a Law

Post by Fajer Ahmed

kuwaitlaw

There have been a lot of “legal” changes in Kuwait in the past year, and mostly for the positive. But, the law in Kuwait is not always accessible in English to the large number of foreigners in the country. Therefore there are many topics which I believe would be beneficial to my readers, but I never know where to start, which is why I have decided to start right from the beginning, to the inception of law.

I will try to explain how law is born, in a simple understandable form to all humans, because that is how the law is supposed to be (so the lawyers reading this, I apologize for not using your exclusive lingo!!)

Kuwait is unique in the region being one if the first countries to have a democratic legal system. The system has not changed since it came into place in 1962, and therefore because of democracy, decision making needs to go through a process of steps before it can become “law”, unlike other countries. (An example of this that makes me very proud is that Kuwait is the first country in the GCC that has a law for the rights of domestic workers, it’s brand new too!)

The steps for a law to become a law are as follows:
1) a drat law is suggested by a parliament member or by the government
2) draft law goes to a committee in the parliament (there’s different committees responsible for different things like “education” “health” and so on)
3) committee drafts the law and approves
4) the law is discussed in a session (those for and those against get to speak with equal love)
5) the parliament vote for the law
6) the Amir approves and ratifies the law
7) if the Amir doesn’t approve a law, the parliament can reintroduce the law for voting
8) printed in the daily newspaper (http://kuwaitalyawm.media.gov.kw/)
9) wait a period of time before the law becomes a Law

So when you hear absurd things in the news like a parliament member has suggested “no more yoga in Kuwait, cause people are bending in front of each other” or “men can’t wear the color pink” or “Kuwaitis get 3 day weekends, while expats work 25 hours a day”, please understand it is not law and just a suggestion by a parliament member that a lot of people voted for. Also please understand that the Kuwaiti constitution gives the people living in Kuwait a lot of rights (and obligations) and no parliament or ministry can take away those rights. They are the guidelines for any new law.

With that said, it is very important to know who you are voting for during elections, and a good way to do that is through the non-biased www.raqib50.com, a website that allows you to track different parliament members in Kuwait, current and previous, track their attendance, see what they have proposed and their work in their committees. I hope that was helpful, the media isn’t always positive and can really influence the way we perceive the country even though a lot of positive changes are right in front of us.

Feel free to email me ask@fajerthelawyer.com with any legal questions. I do not have the capacity to answer everyone for free (but I try), and I am happy to announce that I am currently working with a great team and therefore we are able to reply back to all emails with a reasonable time frame.

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.


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24 comments, add your own...


  1. Rayboy says:

    Fajer, there is a couple of more steps between

    1) a drat law is suggested by a parliament member or by the government
    2) draft law goes to a committee in the parliament

    ————-

    once a “subject” is suggested by a member , it goes through an approval process inside KNA to ensure it meets the following conditions

    – Constitutional Conditions
    – Legal Conditions .

    There are consultants which review every subject and sent back to the presenting member for his final review , before it goes to a committee for further discussion.

    The between your point 3 and 4 , the drafted law from the committee, goes to the speaker for his approval before it becomes a discussion in the parliament.

    A year back, the speaker has allowed public opinions on subjects , these public opinions are gathered and then further discussed during committee sessions.

  2. Ash says:

    Hello, you should correct the drat to draft. (You’ll find it in step 1) ^^

  3. Ipsom says:

    Fajer, can u please explain step 7 a bit more?

  4. Yousef says:

    Thank you for this post! I hope more people realize that just because a parliament member suggests a ridiculous law, it doesn’t mean it will ever be close to being passed.

  5. K- says:

    thank you fajer. I hate it when a nutjob suggest an absurd law and everyone mock kuwait for it.

    hey we are sorry that we have democracy where everyone can suggest whatever they want like what a real democracy is supposed to be, but that’s way better than neighboring ME countries with no democracy whatsoever.

  6. Matt says:

    Calling this a democratic system when the Legislative Branch can be dissolved on a whim is stretching the definition somewhat. However, I concede that they have a right to whatever system they want. It seems to work for them.

    • AA says:

      I see your point. The same can be said about the US with regard to the president’s right to issue executive orders and veto congressional bills.

      • Matt says:

        Executive Orders are often struck down by Courts if they conflict with duly enacted legislation. Vetoes can be overridden by Congress. The President is also elected. Not exactly the same.

        • AA says:

          The constitutional Court has the power to reject the Emir’s decisions (Amiri decrees) if they violate the constitution. And as chet’s comment above says, the parliament can override the Emir’s veto.

          • Matt says:

            Unless he dissolved them first.

            • chet says:

              He can’t dissolve at whim, there has to be valid constitutional reasoning behind it. The Constitutional court can dissolve the parliament and can invalidate the Emir’s dissolve by ruling it unconstitutional.

              • Matt says:

                I must have been misinformed regarding the establishment of a specific set of circumstances in which the Parliament can be dissolved. Can you cite them? I’m not trying to be argumentative, I am simply curious as to what that criteria happens to be. No Kuwaiti I have asked seems to know.

                • AA says:

                  I’m not sure what the criteria is.

                  A few years ago, the Emir decreed to dissolve the parliament, and new elections took place. Months later, a case was brought to the constitutional Court against the Emir’s decree. The court ruled that the Emir’s decree was unconstitutional, as a result the dissolved parliament resumed its role.

  7. Matt says:

    Anyone who was a kid in the US in the 70’s probably remembers this cartoon. Evidently Kuwait is not that different.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3KHBczTYxA

  8. mungeeman says:

    Either way – once its in – you can choose to follow or not follow the law depending on who you are

  9. MHz says:

    HAHAHA “Men Can’t wear Pink” & drive Pink Cars

  10. Yogology says:

    I love downward dog!

    Hence, I not only go to yoga for the physical and mental benefits, but I’m sure both sexes share the same affection for all the beautiful poses. Which I would say are well earned since not all of them are so easy….

    They should make a law to make all parliament members wear pink and do yoga poses before each session. Maybe people would take them as serious are they actually perform.

  11. Matt says:

    Thanks AA. I had no Reply option to your last post.


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