Updates to BCDR regulations and the Law of Evidence
Bahrain has introduced a new Regulation that has an impact on the way the cases are heard before the Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution (BCDR). Whereby, cases can now be heard and determined in the English Language.
Pursuant to Article 51 of the Regulation2, parties may choose English as their language given that the following criteria are met:
- The underlying contract is in a language other than Arabic;
- The agreement to choose English as the language of the proceedings is recorded in the underlying contract, in the correspondence between the parties, or in a separate agreement; and
- The agreement to choose English as the language of the proceedings is invoked during the case management phase of the proceedings and within the deadlines prescribed for that purpose.
The issuance of this regulation was accompanied by the issuance of a Royal Decree No. 3/2022, whereby new appointments of judges and deputies were made to aid the Regulation specifically to hear Section One cases of BCDR. 'Section One cases are those in which the value of the claims exceed BHD500,000 and at least one party is licensed by the CBB, or the dispute is between commercial companies, or of an international commercial nature'3.
Bahrain is considered to be the first country in the GCC that is implementing this approach. With the introduction of the Regulation, pursuant to Article 23, whereby it permits non-Bahraini lawyers to appear on behalf of the parties in court given that they are accompanied by a Bahraini lawyer who is admitted before the court of Cassation.
Also, another approach was introduced by the courts of Bahrain, whereby Article 133 of the Law of Evidence stipulates that it is now possible for litigants to delegate their own experts subject to the approval of the other parties. Prior to this Article, the court would usually delegate an expert to each case. The developments showcase a promising future in the litigation sector in Bahrain, which will help fasten and ease the dispute resolution process.