Electronic services, a boon for legal proceedings in Bahrain

He was speaking at the annual judicial conference organized by the SJC at its premises in the diplomatic zone. The chairman of the Judicial Inspection Department, Abdulrahman Al Sayed, was also present.

“The CJS has launched a number of initiatives since 2016, which have helped speed up proceedings in civil, criminal and Sharia courts,” Al Buainain pointed out.

“We have introduced several e-services, created more courts and appointed new judges, resulting in cases being settled in record time.

“Each court, including the High Criminal Court, the Supreme Court of Criminal Appeal and the Court of Cassation, delivered verdicts for an average of five months.

“A total of 60,970 new cases were heard last year, while 12,447 cases were pending since 2020.

“First degree courts issued verdicts in 46,436 cases in 2021, second degree appeal courts in 11,800, while Bahrain’s highest court, the Court of Cassation, issued decisions in 2,734 business.

“Verdicts were given in less than six months in 90% of cases last year, while 73% were given in less than three months.

“Enforcement (enforcement) courts received 637,000 applications and processed them all last year.”

Other services set up to facilitate court proceedings include the provision of power of attorney to attorneys, online applications for court proceedings, submission of case notes, expert reports and information on case. All court notifications relating to civil, commercial, criminal and family cases were also announced by email and SMS.

Mr. Al Buainain said that the CJS will continue, in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments, to develop new initiatives aimed at improving the performance of the courts.

“We aim to expand e-services and involve the private sector in dispute resolution,” he said.

He added that 33 law graduates were undergoing training under the Future Judges Programme. The project launched by the SJC in 2014 aims at the Bahrainization of the judiciary. Candidates must participate in law examinations, interviews and take a skills test with selected candidates, then attend conferences and participate in workshops and trainings.

He said a number of expatriate judges had also been appointed to deal with high-profile cases – particularly financial disputes between companies and banks – where the English language would be used in court for the first time.

A total of 101,167 cases were registered in 2020 and judgments were rendered in 85,717 of them.

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