New laws in Bahrain vow for post-Covid world

The Shura Council committees will use the five-month recess to focus on improving laws to incorporate the changing socio-economic, health and life conditions

  
General view of Bahrain Financial Harbour is seen during early evening hours in Manama, Bahrain, May 2, 2020.

General view of Bahrain Financial Harbour is seen during early evening hours in Manama, Bahrain, May 2, 2020.

REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Bahrain's existing legislation will be re-examined in the next few months with a view to modifying them to reflect the post-coronavirus (Covid-19) scenario.

The Shura Council committees will use the five-month recess to focus on improving laws to incorporate the changing socio-economic, health and life conditions.

The legislative and legal affairs committee is expected to be the busiest since all the new laws are referred to it to ascertain their constitutionality, legality and applicability.The committee’s acting chairman Khamis Al Rumaihi said shaping Bahrain’s legislation in the evolving local, regional and global circumstances was vital to stay ahead of time.

Addressing a Press conference remotely on Zoom yesterday, he denied accusations that the chamber was “trumpeting for the government” by repeatedly rejecting parliament’s legislation.

“Around 70 per cent of the legislation ratified by His Majesty King Hamad during each term have been presented by either the Shura or Parliament members,” he said.“We don’t trumpet for the government; we study things from the implementation aspect while MPs may view it from a political aspect.“Throwing blame at a time when strong legislation is needed wastes valuable time as we are now working to revisit existing legislation to give them necessary improvements ahead of the post Covid-19 phase.

“We visit old legislation every recess as we seek ideas for the next term, but mostly general concepts. However, this year round the focus is much higher, on reflecting implications on socioeconomic, health and life practices.”Mr Al Rumaihi explained that despite some legislation being relatively new, such as the 2018 Public Health Law, other committees concerned were working on spins.

“We cannot build alone and it is a duty we share with the government and Parliament; anything nowadays is subject to change, even new legislation as we work to strengthen them.“The 2018 Public Health Law will be enhanced by the services committee despite being two years old as the health crisis caused by Covid-19 requires stricter measures should another health disaster emerge in future.“Nothing is certain, so we have to evolve and this is what all Shura committees are dedicating their time to look into.”Mr Al Rumaihi said Bahrain had developed its human, labour and political rights protocol.

“There are responsibilities that come with being categorised amongst the elite in human, labour and political rights,” he said.“Bahrain’s practices and measures during the past three months of Covid-19 have shown how civilised, proactive and strong our approach to rights are as without any breaches we have managed to strike a balance between life and health.“Extreme measures were unnecessary and we maintained a strong health frontier without any use of force, tough exercise of law or any other means.

”Mr Al Rumaihi said his committee had no pending legislation to review after submitting all 52 bills on time for debate and a vote during the last term.“We are ready to help any other committee that requires our support,” he said.

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