Bahrain Authorises Courts to conduct proceedings in languages other than Arabic

After several months of internal discussions, Legislative Decree No.27 of 2021 has been passed amending the Judicial Authority Law. The new amendments has introduced the following to Bahrain’s existing judicial structure:

  • The new decree permits prior agreement of the Parties to use languages other than Arabic before the Courts. A decision by the Ministry of Justice is expected to follow said amendment to clarify the following:
    • The languages allowed to be used in Court proceedings;
    • The type of cases where multiple languages are allowed to be used;
    • The terms of the agreement that should be made to use a language other than Arabic in front of the court.
  • To support the above and the expected need for judges who can manage non Arabic court proceedings, the amendment has allowed for the appointment of non-Arabic judges, whereas judicial appointment were previously limited to Arab natives only.

These amendments are considered to be monumental in the development of Bahrain’s judicial system, as it allows more flexibility and reduces the cost associated with translation.

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