How The Central Authority Works in Kuwait

This article will provide guidance on how the central authority works in Kuwait.  A sovereign state, Kuwait is the home of the emirate. The Al Sabah, the Emir’s family, controls the country’s political system. The Sunni school of thought known as Maliki Sunni Islam is the state religion of Kuwait. The semi-constitutional governance of Kuwait has led some to label the country as ‘anocratic.’ Judicial and extrajudicial legal papers may be served consistently across member states since Kuwait is a member Hague Service Convention. Click here for How the Hague Convention Simplifies International Process Service.

 As such, a private process service agency like Undisputed Legal can be necessary for people and businesses in Kuwait. Kuwait is very well known for its booming business culture. Regarding the intricacies of cross-border legal requirements, private process service organizations like Undisputed Legal that focus on international service of process have you covered. We can guarantee adherence to Kuwaiti rules and regulations and comprehend the precise processes specified in the Hague Service Convention.  

The Emir serves as the head of state. The three branches of government that make up a political system are the executive, legislative, and judiciary. The Constitutional Court is entrusted with confirming laws and executive orders to their constitutionality.  French law is the basis for Kuwait’s ‘civil law system.’ Sharia law is mostly practiced within the country’s family law system.

Nevertheless, Kuwait’s secular family law protects non-Muslims. The family court may accommodate Sunni (Maliki) and Shia (Shah) members and non-Muslims to conduct family law proceedings. According to the United Nations, ‘it is a hybrid system that draws from Islamic, Egyptian, French, and English common law.’

Unlike other Arab Gulf states, Kuwait does not have Sharia courts. Regarding family law, there are many courts to choose from. Kuwait has the most lenient corporate laws among Gulf states.   Kuwait is home to six distinct governorates: Al Asimah (also known as the Capital), Hawalli (also known as Farwaniya), Mubarak Al-Kabeer (also known as Ahmadi), and Jahra (also known as Ahmadi). Within the governorates, there is an additional subdivision of land. Click Here for Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers!

Kuwait and the Hague Service Convention

Kuwaiti specifies international process service for civil and commercial disputes in accordance with the Hague Service Convention. The norms of the Convention govern the service of process in commercial and civil matters but not in criminal ones. Furthermore, the Convention is inapplicable when the designated recipient’s address is uncertain. Our Undisputed Legal process servers are well-versed with the requirements of service in the Member States. They can ensure that the intended defendants are always located in accordance with Central Authority norms. Click here for How the Hedge Convention Simplifies International Process Service.

If the applicant requests a different method of service than what is required by its internal law for domestic actions, or if the applicant’s method conflicts with the law of the state in question, the Central Authority of the state in question will either serve the document itself or arrange for it to be served by an appropriate agency.

The court documents must be translated into Arabic and sent in two copies; however, the recipient can accept them untranslated. With the help of the Hague Service Convention, the service of parties in other signatory nations became simpler. A private process service agency like Undisputed Legal is usually advised in these situations. One of the treaty’s requirements is that all signatory nations establish a coordinating mechanism for international service. The request is sent to a local court or another specified organization by the destination state’s central authority, who then arrange for process serving. Upon completion of service, a certificate of service is sent to the court official who made the request.

Depending on the state in question, legal papers can be served according to the state’s internal laws regarding domestic actions or at the applicant’s request. If the latter conflicts with the laws of the state in question, the Central Authority of that state will either serve the document itself or arrange for it to be served by an appropriate agency.

Nevertheless, there are two ways that procedure may be sent according to the Convention: [A.] via direct diplomatic or consular channels and [B.] through the postal route.  To facilitate the international service of civil and commercial processes, Kuwait has joined the Hague Conventions. All requests for service of process must be sent to Kuwait’s Central Authority for the Hague Service Convention. Signing the paper in the United States should preferably be done by a lawyer or a clerk of the court; it is necessary to include the applicant’s attorney or clerk of court with their name, address, and signature or stamp. Kuwait has also formally objected to service under Article 10 of the Hague Service Convention and declined to accept service via the postal system.

Central Authority in Kuwait

The Ministry of Justice, also the country’s designated Central Authority under the Hague Evidence Convention, receives requests in Kuwait. U.S. courts or individuals seeking evidence compulsion under the Hague Evidence Convention may bypass diplomatic procedures by submitting such requests directly to the Kuwait Central Authority for the Hague Evidence Convention.

Regardless of their country, any witness may be required to provide a voluntary deposition in Kuwait. Regarding the Hague Evidence Convention, no previous approval from the Kuwait Central Authority is required.   According to Article 5 of the Convention, the main transmission means occurs when a responsible authority or judicial officer from one Contracting Party requests assistance from the Central Authority of the other Contracting Party. The request must adhere to the Model Form annexed to the Convention. A private process service agency like Undisputed Legal can ensure that your documents adhere to the formats prescribed without being struck down for improper service.

The document will be served or arranged to be served by a competent authority by the Ministry of Justice of the requesting Contracting Party in line with its own legislative rules. As long as it does not conflict with the laws of the requesting Contracting Party, the applicant (i.e., the forwarding authority in that party) may ask for a certain method or procedure to be employed. Our private process servers are local to Kuwait and can comply with Kuwaiti civil procedure laws. If the requested service has not been rendered, the body in charge of completing the request must sign a certificate explaining why this was not feasible. 

The International Relations Department at the Ministry of Justice in Kuwait and the Assistant Director of the Department of International Relations, Hanadi Ahmad Abdulrahman, are the points of contact for the Central Authority. Members of staff fluent in Arabic and English. The Department of International Relations and the Ministry of Justice are the forwarding authorities under the  Hague Service Convention.  After receiving the requests, the Central Authority forwards them to the appropriate authorities for processing in line with the Convention’s Articles.
Kuwait and other nations have also executed bilateral agreements in the civil area, notwithstanding the Service Convention.  

Ministry of Justice Kuwait

The Department of International Affairs is responsible for coordinating the many international agreements about judicial and legal cooperation between other nations and the State of Kuwait and the degree to which Kuwait can become a member of these treaties.

In line with the Islamic Shari’a law, the Kuwaiti Constitution, and the State’s laws, the Ministry must respond to all claims and observations included in the human rights reports of all intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations. This involves facilitating cooperation with appropriate international groups, associations, and governments and considering the legal aspects of all papers sent to the Ministry by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and other relevant entities.

The International Relations Department’s organizational structure includes a Control of International Agreements and Requests for Judicial and Legal Cooperation, focusing on investigating and debating the many international accords regarding judicial and legal cooperation between other nations and the State of Kuwait.  This includes coordinating and monitoring the World Trade Organisation (WTO.) The Ministry of Justice oversees the execution of requests for assistance in law and the courts made in various international, regional, and bilateral agreements. 

Preparation and examination of draft international agreements about legal and judicial cooperation between the State of Kuwait and other Arab and Islamic nations is the most important facet of the Ministry of Justice. Officers must research and analyze existing open general international agreements about legal cooperation and other areas and further compare the materials submitted to the Ministry by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and other relevant entities from a legal perspective and then provide a ruling based on these findings. They receive, transmit, and follow up on the processes of notifications, attendance expenses, court notifications, documents, and relevant judicial proceedings. A private process service agency like Undisputed Legal must be familiar with the work of the Ministry of Justice since they- along with the appropriate court authorities-  receive, transmit, and follow up on applications for judicial representation. Requests to execute judgments must be received, sent, and followed up on.

The Kuwaiti Ministry of Justice handles administrative, financial, and judicial matters. Minister Abdulaziz Majid Al-Majid is currently serving as the head of the Ministry.  Following and upholding the process standards applicable in criminal and civil courts is a framework for the Ministry of Justice that informs Kuwaiti service of process. As such, a private process server like those at Undisputed Legal must be familiar with the functioning of the Ministry, especially since one of its main duties remains compliance and due diligence for records. 

Agreements with both Arab and non-Arab nations 

The enforcement of foreign judgments between nations relies heavily on treaties, which may be either multilateral or bilateral. The nations have signed many accords addressing the recognition and execution of international court rulings. The multilateral accords that include all or most Arab countries are the most important of them. 

The Arab Judgements Convention, also known as the Convention on the Enforcement of Judgements 1952, was the first effort at regional cooperation among Arab countries for the enforcement of foreign judgements. Kuwait subsequently recognized the AJC on May 20, 1963. A ruling from one LAS member’s court should be binding on all LAS members. Furthermore, the AJC made it clear that its rules applied to final decisions made in cases involving [A.] business or civil disputes, [B.]  criminal court damages, or [C.]  family law issues. 

Another major multilateral convention for Kuwaiti service, the Riyadh Arab Convention on Judicial Cooperation 1983 (the Riyadh Convention), succeeded the AJC.  Consistency, coherence, and collaboration among Member States is what the Riyadh Convention is trying to accomplish. Further, on 8 May 2002, Kuwait formally joined the Convention of 1 February 1971 on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters. 

A typical criterion for enforcement of foreign judgments is the reciprocity condition. To summarise, the principle of reciprocity allows courts to refuse to recognize or enforce judgments rendered in other states when applying them to their own jurisdictions. Assuring and facilitating the reciprocal execution of foreign judgments between States is the fundamental rationale behind the Reciprocity Condition.  

Court judgments and decrees made in Kuwait may be enforced by the same circumstances as those outlined in the laws of the countries from whence they were issued. The Kuwaiti courts will implement the foreign judgment by the same conditions as stipulated by the foreign legislation. So, for instance, if the law of the country where the court was located does not recognize the validity of the Kuwaiti judgment and necessitates a new claim or an examination of its merits, then the foreign judgment should be treated equally in Kuwait by applying the enforcement rules applicable to the foreign law.

The  Kuwaiti courts have affirmed that foreign judgments would be enforced where the laws of the foreign courts are quite close to Kuwaiti law. A private process server like Undisputed Legal, who has had considerable experience in serving papers across the globe, can help ensure that your papers adhere to the bilateral and multilateral requirements under Kuwaiti law.

Notary Public in Kuwait

Kuwaiti notary publics can prepare and  certify various legal documents, including affidavits, powers of attorney, name-change deeds, and corporate records (such as resolutions, memorandums, and articles of association.)

A Kuwaiti notary public will notarize a client’s papers by the different degrees of notarization required by other nations.  Kuwaiti notary publics are typically required to witness signatures, certify a copy of a document, and authenticate signatures. Notarization plays an essential role in Kuwaiti law by verifying the identity of the signatories and attesting to the authenticity of their signatures on legal documents. A notary’s services may be required for certain transactions, such as those involving real estate, trusts, debt agreements, etc. 

Under no circumstances can a notarization take place in Kuwait without the presence of all signatories and the required papers. It is necessary to bring a valid form of identification and all pages of the document that have to be notarized to the Kuwaiti Ministry of Justice through the Department of International Affairs.

By carefully carrying out their duties, a Kuwaiti notary may assist clients in avoiding papers that have been faked. A notary public in Kuwait will authenticate client documents since many legal documents lack legal force unless they are notarized. This process adds credibility to the document, especially since a notarized document is considered self-authenticating. This means it may be presented as proof in a court of law. Notarization eliminates the need to bring an extra witness as evidence, which saves you time.

Notarization of corporate legal papers is required in the state of their creation. For example, for United States Citizens, a list of fees is available for having papers legalized by the Kuwaiti Embassy in Washington, DC, authenticated by the US State Department, and certified by the Arab American Chamber of Commerce; sees pricing for the service is USD70, whereas the US Department of State, the Embassy of Kuwait, and the US Arab Chamber of Commerce all charge USD20,  USD25, and USD35, respectively.

After authentication, documents are made functional, legitimate, and recognized in another nation, which confirms that the signature and seal are genuine. The authentication procedure, which may entail numerous stages and various government organizations, must be completed by U.S.-issued papers before being used in these non-Hague Apostille nations. Kuwait is not a signatory to the Apostille Convention.  

Authentication by the Secretary of State, the U.S. Department of State, and the Embassy or Consulate of Kuwait in the U.S. is necessary for any U.S.-issued papers to be used in Kuwait. Different types of documents need different government bodies to authenticate them. All documents may be authenticated, regardless of their origin. This includes documents notarized by a local notary, those issued by local and state courts or governmental departments, and those issued by the federal government.

For a document to be recognized by another country’s legal system, it must first undergo the process of legalization, which entails authenticating or certifying it. In many cases, complete legalization also requires a certified translation of the original document.

The Kuwaiti Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) and the relevant foreign ministries may handle the necessary paperwork to stamp documents produced by offices in Kuwait or overseas. The Kuwait Foreign Ministry (MoFA) stamps and signs the papers after each state agency ratifies or stamps the originals. The document must first be attested at the Kuwaiti Consulate in the country of origin and then further at the Consular Department of MoFa, Kuwait. The ratification becomes null and invalid upon changing the data included therein.

A notary public is required for the authentication, legalization, or apostille of all papers except official, certified, government-issued documents. To witness the signing of the paper, the lawyer must see a legitimate form of identification. Legal counsel signs and dates the paper as an affirmation of the signature.

Power of Attorney in Kuwait

A power of attorney is usually afforded from one individual to another to handle official documents or conduct business on their behalf. A POA can also be helpful for a business to appoint an individual who can represent the business in certain cases. One may go from being a shareholder in a corporation to appointing someone to vote on the shareholder’s behalf when companies have shareholder meetings.

From the client (donor of the Power of Attorney), a power of attorney authorizes one party to take legal action in another’s name. With a power of attorney (POA), a lawyer can initiate legal proceedings on their client’s behalf. The Kuwaiti Ministry of Justice has a straightforward procedure for obtaining a power of attorney.

For any Power of Attorney documents to be accepted in Kuwait, it is necessary to have the relevant parties or their representative present  [A.] a copy of the original civil identification card, [B.] a valid power of attorney document, and [C.] a duplicate copy of the certification necessary. There is a charge of 0.5 KWD per extra page. The Department of Justice, Ministries Complex handles power of attorney matters in Kuwait.

When entrusting the done with power of attorney, it is important to understand the extent of the POA. Further, many government-related transactions need to use official government applications, such as Sahil and Hawati, for verification. For foreign citizens, it is necessary to provide a copy of the applicant’s or applicants’ passports, including the front, rear, and residence pages and the original passport(s). Parties will need two witnesses’ passports—including the front, rear, and residence pages—and their civil identification cards, which each must sign.

 The candidate must appear in person. The applicant must provide an original document for verification purposes, such as a valid passport or civil identification card. The originals of all papers must be ‘self-attested’ (signed and dated). Depending on the presented papers, more documents could be required for verification. The applicant(s) and two witnesses must appear at the Embassy to execute the will with a copy of their passport and civil identification. 

The procedure for a power of attorney in Kuwait may take work. Powers of attorney are complicated legal documents with several layers of meaning that might be hard to understand. Regarding Kuwaiti law, our Undisputed Legal experts may be able to help with service of process. Undisputed Legal is here to assist when you need your documents served in Kuwait. We want you to know that the service of process requirements for various documents might vary. Therefore, we will spare no effort to ensure the target state accepts your paperwork. Undisputed Legal will ensure the timely delivery of your papers regardless of the court, the documents, or the deadline you need.

OUR PROCESS

Documents can be faxed at (800) 296-0115, emailed to ps@undisputedlegal.com, or uploaded to our website. We do require prepayment and accept all major credit and debit cards. Once payment is processed your sales receipt is immediately emailed for your records.

Drop-offs must call and make an appointment first to be added to building security to permit access to our office. Documents for service must be in a sealed envelope with payment in form of a money order or attorney check (WE DO NOT ACCEPT CASH) payable to UNDISPUTED LEGAL INC., All documents will be received by our receptionist.

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OFFICE LOCATIONS

New York: (212) 203-8001 – 590 Madison Avenue, 21st Floor, New York, New York 10022
Brooklyn: (347) 983-5436 – 300 Cadman Plaza West, 12th Floor, Brooklyn, New York 11201
Queens: (646) 357-3005 – 118-35 Queens Blvd, Suite 400, Forest Hills, New York 11375
Long Island: (516) 208-4577 – 626 RXR Plaza, 6th Floor, Uniondale, New York 11556
Westchester: (914) 414-0877 – 50 Main Street, 10th Floor, White Plains, New York 10606
Connecticut: (203) 489-2940 – 500 West Putnam Avenue, Suite 400, Greenwich, Connecticut 06830
New Jersey: (201) 630-0114 – 101 Hudson Street, 21 Floor, Jersey City, New Jersey 07302
Washington DC: (202) 655-4450 – 1101 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Suite 300, Washington DC 20004

Pick up the phone and call Toll-Free (800) 774-6922 or click the service you want to purchase. Our dedicated team of professionals is ready to help you out. We can handle all of your process service needs; no job is too small or too large!

Please feel free to contact us for more information about our process serving agency. We are ready to provide service of process to all our clients globally from our offices in New York, Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island, Westchester, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Washington, D.C.

“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives”– Foster, William A

Sources

1. State of Kuwait, Public Administration Country Profile’. United Nations. September 2004. p. 7

2. Code of Personal Status, Kuwaiti Edition, 1984.

3. Convention of 15 November 1965 on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters.

4. Bayan, Block 13, Masjed Al-Aqsa Street, Kuwait City, Kuwait.

5. Building No. 14, Ministry Complex, Safat 13001, Kuwait City.

6. The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the States of the Co-operation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf agreed on multilateral judicial cooperation, which was adopted by statute 44/1998).

7. The Ministry of Justice is also required to:-

  1. Respond to all human rights reports from international and non-international organizations in a way consistent with Islamic Shari’a, the Kuwaiti Constitution, and state legislation, taking into consideration all claims and critiques.
  2. Work together with appropriate global groups and alliances.
  3. Could you work in tandem with the relevant government agencies on this matter?
  4. Research of the Ministry of Justice’s attendance at domestic and international conferences and seminars relevant to Kuwait,
  5. Organize and attend seminars and other events in which the Ministry collaborates with the Legal Department; these may include the Council of Arab Ministries of Justice and the Ministers of Justice of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
  6.     Performing the duties associated with executive bonds and sentencing, including receiving, depositing, and distributing the appropriate funds, in compliance with the legal requirements
  7. duties of carrying out investigations and prosecutions of criminal offenses in conformity with the legal framework and various government agencies and parties with technical matters.

8. The Kuwaiti Ministry of Justice, with regard to compliance matters, is required to:

  1. Documentation, verification, and approval of real estate
  2. Preserving business records
  3. safeguarding/protecting children and other vulnerable groups
  4. Keeping tabs on the bequests left by people whose descendants are unknown
  5. Whenever required, transferring such bequests from government entities and distributing them to the intended recipients in compliance with applicable regulations
  6. Justice and legal cooperation with other Islamic and Arab nations and organizations.

9. On 14 September 1952, the LAS authorized the AJC, and on 29 August 1954, it became effective.

10. The Arab League’s Council of Justice Ministers approved this Convention at its meeting on 6 April 1983, and Kuwait ratified it on 30 October 1985.

11. The Riyadh Convention’s preamble, ‘the legislative unification of the Arab Countries is a national object.

12. Paragraph one of Article 199 emphasizes ‘reciprocity’ as a necessary criterion for executing foreign judgments.

13. Case No. 406/1999

14. General Power of Attorney (two copies) will be canceled after the individual has finished the action for which they were assigned the POA. A client may get a duplicate or original power of attorney document and ask to have it voided and canceled from the exact locations they are given.

15. A spouse cannot be called as a witness. However, it is acceptable to submit evidence of a spouse if the Power of Attorney is in their name

 

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