Nayel AlBorshaid – Associate ([email protected])
The Minister of Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments, Sheikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa, identified eight types of lawsuits in which it will be permissible for the litigating parties to agree on litigation being conducted in the English language in Resolution 117/2021 (the “Resolution”) which will come into force on 4th April 2022.
According to the Resolution, it is permissible for the litigants to agree to conduct litigation in the English language in any of the following cases: (i) cases involving a foreign company; (ii) cases related to the dissolution and liquidation of commercial companies; (iii) cases relating to shares, bonds and other securities; (iv) cases relating to commercial papers; (v) cases relating to trademarks, commercial agencies and intellectual property rights; (vi) cases relating to arbitration or mediation in commercial contracts; (vii) cases related to transport contract and air and maritime disputes; and (viii) cases related to construction contracts.
According to Article 1 of the Resolution, the parties to the dispute may – prior to the commencement of any case falling with the categories of cases identified in the preceding paragraph – agree to conduct the legal proceedings in court in the English language subject to fulfilment of the following conditions: (i) the contract subject matter of the dispute must be written in English; (ii) the parties’ agreement on the use of the English language in any ensuing dispute must appear in their contract, in correspondence exchanged between them, or in a subsequent agreement between them; (iii) the claim value must be in excess of Bahraini Dinars five hundred thousand; and (iv) Bahraini courts must have the jurisdiction to consider the dispute.
According to Article 2 of the Resolution, judgments delivered by the Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution which will have the jurisdiction to decide these categories of cases may also be challenged to the Court of Cassation in the English language.
Although the Resolution will not come into force until April 2022, the decision signifies a profound transformation as to how litigation proceedings will be conducted within the Kingdom.
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