On 19 January 2022, Bahrain Royal Order No. (3) of 2022 was issued, appointing judges specifically to hear Section One cases of the Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution (BCDR), in which the parties have agreed on English as the language of proceedings.
Section One cases are those in which the value of the claims exceeds BHD500,000 (approximately USD1.3 million) and at least one party is licensed by the Central Bank of Bahrain, or the dispute is between commercial companies, or of an international commercial nature.
Professor Jan Paulsson, Mr. Neil Kaplan QC and Dr. Michael Hwang SC were appointed Deputies of the Court of Cassation, and were assigned to hear such English language cases.
In addition, Mr. Adrian Cole, Mr. Michael Grose, Ms. Nadine Debbas Achkar, Mr. Simon Greenberg, Dr. Karim Hafez and Ms. Amani Khalifa were appointed Judges of the Court of Cassation, with the same authority.
The appointment of these Deputies and Judges reflects the entitlement of disputing parties to choose English as the language of the proceedings in such cases.
Pursuant to Article 5 of the Section One rules of procedure of BCDR, parties may choose English as the language of their proceedings provided that:
1- the underlying contract is in a language other than Arabic;
2- 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
3- 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.