The Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution (BCDR-AAA) is a regional dispute-settlement institution, which has been in operation since 2010. It was established by Bahraini Legislative Decree No. 30 of 2009. In partnership with the American Arbitration Association (AAA), the BCDR-AAA provides commercial and governmental parties contracting in the region with solutions for rapid and effective resolution of commercial, financial and investment disputes.
The BCDR-AAA consists of a secretariat overseen by a board of trustees. The board comprises eight members and is chaired by Sheikha Haya Bint Rashed Al-Khalifa, a former president of the UN General Assembly. The secretariat is chaired by the CEO and includes a chief registrar and other trained specialists. Professor Nassib G Ziadé has served as the CEO since 2013, and Mr Ahmed Husain has been the chief registrar since 2010.
The BCDR-AAA’s case management team is composed of lawyers who are fluent in Arabic, English and French. Following training at the headquarters of the AAA in New York and elsewhere, they undertake continuing professional development.
Bahraini Legislative Decree No. 30 of 2009 confers two types of jurisdiction on BCDR-AAA: jurisdiction by law (for “Section 1” cases) and jurisdiction by party agreement (for “Section 2” cases).
Under Section 1, the BCDR-AAA has jurisdiction over disputes that fall within the jurisdiction of the Bahraini courts, where the claim amount exceeds 500,000 Bahraini dinars, subject to: at least one party being a financial institution licensed by the Central Bank of Bahrain; or the dispute being of an international commercial nature.
Under Section 2, the BCDR-AAA has jurisdiction over disputes covered by a written agreement to arbitrate or mediate under the BCDR-AAA rules.
The new Arbitration Rules, which came into effect on 1 October 2017, are available in English, French and Arabic. They introduce changes that enhance the arbitration procedure, as well as a new fee schedule and a new model arbitration clause. It is anticipated that the Rules, and the reworked and more balanced fee structure, will encourage greater take-up of the BCDR-AAA offering and a steady growth in Section 2 casework over the coming years.
Facilities and services
The BCDR-AAA’s technologically advanced, purpose-built facilities include state-of-the-art hearing and meeting rooms, breakout rooms for arbitrators, mediators and parties, translation booths and equipment, digital audio/video recording and video conferencing resources, and on-site technical support.
These facilities are used not only to conduct Section 1 and Section 2 cases but also to administer ad hoc arbitration and mediation proceedings, including those conducted under the UNCITRAL Rules. They are also used for holding arbitration and mediation seminars and other outreach events.
The BCDR-AAA views training and education opportunities as an integral part of its mission. It holds training sessions and workshops on arbitration and mediation for judges, lawyers, in-house counsel, experts and other professionals. It also supports the training of law students interested in international commercial arbitration. Since 2011, the BCDR-AAA has organised and hosted the Middle East Pre-Moot prior to the Willem C Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, in collaboration with the Commercial Law Development Program, a division of the US Department of Commerce.
The BCDR-AAA produces a biannual law journal, the BCDR International Arbitration Review, which contains articles and case decisions in both Arabic and English. Each issue focuses on a specific topic that is timely and relevant to the Arab region. Topics covered in previous issues include the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards in the Arab states of the Gulf, women’s voices in international arbitration, arbitration in Egypt, international investment arbitration in the Middle East, and construction arbitration in the Middle East.
In addition to the Review, the BCDR-AAA has launched a series of publications honouring Arab scholars and practitioners who have promoted international arbitration and international law.
The BCDR-AAA is currently preparing revised rules of mediation and new rules specifically for investment arbitration. It is also expanding its roster of arbitrators by attracting additional experienced international practitioners, including investment arbitration specialists.
Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution
Suite 301 (3rd Floor), Park Plaza
Bldg 247 Road 1704, Diplomatic Area 317, PO Box 20006
Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain
Tel: +973 17 511 311
Fax: +973 17 511 300
Nassib G Ziadé
Chief Executive Officer