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Bahrain Programs

Judicial Programs

Judicial development

The ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) is closely cooperating with Bahrain’s Ministry of Justice to increase consistency in the administration of justice by enhancing the skills and qualifications of Bahrain’s judges and prosecutors. With ABA ROLI assistance, the ministry established the Judicial and Legal Studies Institute (JLSI), a training institution for judges and lawyers. ABA ROLI has worked with the JLSI to create judicial practice manuals and develop cutting-edge substantive and skills courses on topics including drafting and enforcing civil judgments, labor law, electronic evidence and anti-money laundering.

ABA ROLI also continues to work with the ministry and the JLSI in training legal professionals on a variety of topics, including cyber crime , evidence, international human rights and due process standards, judicial administration and alternative dispute resolution.

Judicial selection and performance standards

ABA ROLI assisted Bahrain’s Ministry of Justice in developing a judicial exam to critically evaluate judge-candidates and to make the selection process more transparent and objective. ABA ROLI is currently working with the ministry to implement a legislative mandate to promote and discipline judges using performance-based criteria. ABA ROLI and the ministry will create written guidelines and procedures for judge testing, promotion and discipline.

Court administration and alternative dispute resolution

ABA ROLI has supported Bahrain’s Ministry of Justice in efforts to enhance court efficiency and administration throughout the Kingdom by conducting an in-depth needs assessment and reform plan, providing expert assistance with developing and implementing specific reform initiatives and training key actors on best practices in administration and dispute resolution.

Legal Education and Civic Education Programs

In 2013, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) and the University of Bahrain Faculty of Law collaborated to establish the country’s first clinical legal education programs. The clinics promote understanding of human rights law among law students and professors, providing opportunities to observe its practical application. Participating students work with juvenile clients, make presentations to schoolchildren on legal topics affecting youth, or work with local human rights organizations. 

Legal Professional Reform

The ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) assists the Bahrain Lawyers’ Society (BLS) to provide better services to its members. ABA ROLI also works with the BLS on capacity-building efforts, including leadership training, bench-bar relationship building activities, continuing legal education and young lawyer training.

Additionally, Bahrain benefits from ABA ROLI’s regional program to support advancement of continuing legal education among the Gulf countries. As part of the regional initiative, Bahraini law firms and the Judicial and Legal Studies Institute—an institution for the education of Bahraini judges and lawyers—will serve as part of a regional continuing legal education consortium, creating and distributing continuing education modules for the region’s lawyers.