Bahrain’s top court issues its first ruling in English

In a groundbreaking move, the Court of Cassation in Bahrain has issued its first ruling in English, marking a significant step in the country’s aim to become a leading international centre for dispute resolution.

This decision showcases Bahrain’s efforts to modernise its judicial system and adapt to the evolving landscape of international commercial disputes.

The case involved an $18 million lawsuit filed by a foreign bank against a local bank, represented by the Al Dosari Law Firm.

The local bank successfully defended the case based on the application of English law. The entire legal process, including sessions and arguments, was conducted in English, as agreed by the parties.

This historic ruling reflects the crucial role of the Supreme Judicial Council, led by His Excellency Shaikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa, in driving the modernisation of Bahrain’s judicial system.

Lawyer Saad Al Dosari believes this success paves the way for Bahrain’s broader adoption of English in its court proceedings.

Furthering this development, the Minister of Justice, H.E. Nawaf bin Mohammed Al Muawda, issued Resolution No. 28 of 2023, permitting the use of English in court proceedings and before the Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution.

This resolution aims to elevate Bahrain’s status as a leading international centre for dispute resolution by allowing parties to choose English for litigation when their contracts are drafted in English.

Al Dosari highlighted the significance of this judicial precedent, noting his law team’s expertise in resolving international commercial disputes in both Arabic and English and their comprehensive understanding of both English and Bahraini law.


He expressed confidence that this achievement will significantly enhance Bahrain’s reputation as a centre for resolving international disputes in English and applying English law.

The precedent-setting ruling issued by the Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution in November 2023 in favour of Al Dosari’s client marked the first judgment delivered in English.

The subsequent confirmation by the Court of Cassation in May 2024 further solidifies Bahrain’s position as a major judicial jurisdiction that embraces litigation in English and matters governed by English law.

The lawsuit originated in 2023, when a foreign bank filed a claim exceeding $18 million against a local bank represented by Al Dosari.


During the trial, Al Dosari successfully argued for the application of English law based on the relevant contracts.

Under the English law of 1980, the lawsuit was deemed time-barred, leading to the dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims.

Following the Bahrain Chamber’s decision in favour of Al Dosari’s client, the plaintiff appealed to the Court of Cassation, which upheld the lower court’s ruling.

The Court of Cassation, presided over by His Excellency Sheikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa and judges Adrian Cole and Michael Gross, concluded that Bahraini courts’ application of English law was permissible under Law No. 6 of 2015 regarding conflict of laws.


The Daily Tribune

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