Decree Law No (28) for 2015 pertinent to amending certain provisions of the Commercial Companies Law promulgated by virtue of Decree Law No. (21) for 2001
The said law targets developing a system to register shelf companies, allows foreigners to establish fully owned companies and businesses, carry out commercial activities that were exclusive to Bahrainis, and to streamline the number of required procedures to incept companies.
The law, including its preamble, consists of three amends; whereas certain articles of the Commercial Companies Law (21) for 2001 were replaced as per Article (1). Article (2) added new paragraphs to the said law, while Article (3) is executive. Some of the most important issues addressed by this law are:
- Address the prevailing financial conditions, and to complement the economic and legislative structures in the Kingdom, so as to promote the soundness of an economic climate.
- Pave the way for the Korean company LG, which entered into an agreement with the government, to finalize its work pertinent to developing the BLIS commercial registration system that was launched in May 2015. BLIS is envisaged as one of the national economic schemes that serves merchants and investors, and contributes to supporting the trade balance. As such, the decree law was issued on urgent basis in order for LG to finalize the required programing and technical matters before leaving the Kingdom of Bahrain.
- Expedite the endorsement of necessary legislative steps that maintain the general interest, in light of the fierce effectual competition to settle domestic capitals, and attracting foreign investments from surrounding countries; in order to put Bahrain as the best choice for investments particularly in light of the prevailing economic conditions, and the setback in oil prices.
- Promote the commercial sector, which is important and vital to the State, as it contributes to increasing the development and welfare of citizens, grows revenues, improves productivity, and proclaims the quality and performance services provided by the Ministry at its best.
Law No. ( ) for ( ) Pertinent to Issue the Arbitration Law attached to Decree No. (22) for 2015
The law targets attracting foreign investments by means of guaranteeing a free economic climate of capitals to promote the competitiveness of the Kingdom of Bahrain. The legal regulation of arbitration in the Kingdom had certain setbacks of negative impacts on attracting foreign investments. The law also aims to promote the Kingdom as a regional arbitration center, by means of promoting modern mechanisms in resolving commercial, economic, investment and financial disputes; while supplementing the outcomes of the economic dimension of the national reconciliation dialogue; particularly of relevance to completing and modifying the matrix of commercial laws and legislations. The attached draft-law came to fully compensate for the legislative vacuum, without prejudice to provisions of the enacted laws and the constitution in the Kingdom.
The law, inclusive of its preamble, consists of nine articles. Article (1) determined the application of the UNICETRAL Model Law for international arbitration (attached to the law) to all arbitration whatever the legal nature of the dispute. Article (2) addresses two independent issues: the first stated that the provisions of paragraph (1) of Article (1) of the attached UNICETRAL Model Law shall not prejudice the application of its provisions on all arbitration, whatever the nature of the legal relationship of the parties to the arbitration agreement. The second stated: the international source shall be taken into account in interpreting the provisions of the attached UNICETRAL Model Law. Article (3) stated the High Civil Court shall perform the functions referred to in Article (6) of the attached UNICETRAL Model Law.
Article (4) of the draft-law stated: The definition of the arbitration agreement and its form shall be made in accordance with the first option provided for in Article (7) of the attached UNICETRAL Model Law. Article (5) stipulated that charges levied on applications related to the recognition of arbitral awards and requests for implementation and cancellation requests shall be subject to the provisions of the attached UNICETRAL Law to the rules on imposing judicial fees stipulated in the law on judicial fees.
Article (6) stipulated that Non-Bahraini lawyers shall be authorized to represent the two parties to the dispute in case the international trade arbitration is held in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
Article (7) underlined that any arbitrator appointed on the basis of the provisions of the attached UNICETRAL Model Law shall not be held accountable for any act or omission when carrying out his duties unless it was done in bad faith, or was the result of a serious error; and this provision applies to employees of the arbitrator or authorized by him to undertake some of the work associated with the tasks entrusted to him without prejudice to the responsibility if the arbitrator steps down, without serious reason or at the wrong time.
Article (8) said: the 7th clause on arbitration, article (253) of the Civil and Commercial Procedures Law promulgated by virtue of law-decree (12) for 1971 and the International Commercial Arbitration Act issued by decree (9) for 1994 shall be abrogated. Meanwhile, Article (9) is executive.
Decree Law No. (70) for 2014 amending certain provisions of Decree Law No. (5) for 2002 pertinent to ratifying the CEDAW Convention
The Decree Law aims to redraft the Kingdom of Bahrain reservations on the CEDAW Convention (which the Kingdom joined in 2002), so as to reiterate the Kingdom’s commitment to the principles guaranteed in the Convention, which are consistent with the constitution of Bahrain, and guarantee its implementation within the bounds of the provisions of the Islamic Shari’a.
The Decree Law consists of three articles. Article (1) stated replacing provisions of Article (2) of Decree Law No. (5) for 2002 that ratifies the Kingdom’s joining of the CEDAW Convention with a text where the Kingdom reservations are confined to paragraph (2) of Article (9) of the Convention that states: “Parties shall grant women equal rights with men with respect to the nationality of their children”; and to paragraph (1) of Article (29) that states: “Any dispute between two or more States Parties concerning the interpretation or application of the present Convention which is not settled by negotiation shall, at the request of one of them, be submitted to arbitration”.
Article (2) of the Decree Law stipulates adding a new article to Decree Law (5) for 2002 to confirm joining the CEDAW to be named Article (2)bis that reiterates the Kingdom’s commitment to carrying out provisions of articles (2) and (15)/paragraphs (4) and (16) of the Convention without prejudice to bounds of the Islamic Shari’a. Article (3) of the decree law is executive.