The Foundation visited to Bahrain in 2013 to explore the possibility of the Foundation’s involvement in Rule of Law projects. On their visit meetings were arranged with the Chief Justice, the Minister of Justice, the Prosecutor-General and other leaders of the Bahraini judicial and legal communities.
Working with Beyond Borders Scotland, a further scoping visit was carried out by the Foundation in May 2016. In the course of this visit, the team met members and staff of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC), the body with responsibility for the judiciary in Bahrain, the Judicial Inspectorate, the Minister of Justice, the Civil Procedure Code Committee, the Attorney General, the head of the Rent Dispute Committee, the judge of the Juvenile Court, senior members of the National Institute of Human Rights, the SJC’s Judicial Training Advisor and, of course, the Ambassador and his team. The team was impressed by the progress which has been made since the Foundation’s visit in 2013.
Also with Beyond Borders Scotland, the Foundation provided two series of seminars for delegations from the senior Bahraini judiciary in 2016. The topics included judicial ethics and independence, disciplinary measures, the complaints procedure, enforcement of judgements, the selection process, roles and responsibilities, and training of judges, the relationship between the judiciary and administrators and judicial reform, fast tracking and automated court systems.
In December 2016 the Foundation made a further visit to Bahrain. This visit built on the previous work undertaken by Sir David and other representatives of the Foundation and had two elements. Firstly a two day seminar, the objective of which was to explore the permission to appeal process used in the Court of Appeals of England and Wales to explore if there were any elements of this process that could be adapted for use within the Bahraini Judiciary. The second element was a meeting with members of the Bahraini Bar Association to discuss professional ethics and explore appeals issues from a lawyers perspective.