Electronic services have significantly fast-tracked judicial proceedings, with cases being completed in an average of around five months.

A total of 73,517 cases were heard by the courts last year and rulings were handed out in 63,039 of them.

The information was revealed by Cassation Court president and Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) deputy chairman Abdulla Al Buainain yesterday.

He was speaking at the annual judicial conference organised by the SJC at its premises in the Diplomatic Area. Judicial Inspection Department president Abdulrahman Al Sayed was also present.

“The SJC has been launching a number of initiatives since 2016, which have helped speed up proceedings at civil, criminal and Sharia courts,” Mr Al Buainain pointed out.

“We introduced several electronic services, set up more courts and appointed new judges, which has led to cases being completed in record time.

“Each court, including the High Criminal Court, Supreme Criminal Appeals Court and the Cassation Court, has been issuing verdicts in an average of five months.

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

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

“Verdicts were handed out in less than six months in 90 per cent of the cases last year, while 73 per cent were handed in less than three months.

“The enforcements (execution) courts received 637,000 requests and completed them all last year.”

Other services introduced to ease judicial proceedings include – providing power of attorney to lawyers, online applications for legal proceedings, submission of case notes, expert reports and information about cases. All court notifications relating to civil, commercial, criminal and family-related cases were also announced through e-mail and short text messages.

Mr Al Buainain said the SJC would continue, in co-operation with the Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments Ministry, to develop new initiatives aimed at improving the performance of courts.

“We are aiming to expand electronic services and involve the private sector in settling disputes,” he said.

He added that 33 law graduates were undergoing training in the Future Judges Programme. The project launched by SJC in 2014 aims at Bahrainisation of the judiciary. Applicants have to take part in law examinations, interviews and undergo a skills test with selected candidates then attending lectures and taking part in workshops and training.

He said a number of expatriate judges have also been appointed to handle high-profile cases – especially financial disputes between companies and banks – where English language would be used in courts for the first time.

A total of 101,167 cases were recorded in 2020 and rulings were handed out in 85,717 of them.


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