On 21 and 22 November 2017, the Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution (BCDR-AAA) held two briefing sessions on its new arbitration rules, which came into effect on 1 October 2017. The sessions took place in BCDR-AAA's offices in Manama and were led by the three members of the committee that drafted the rules - Nassib G. Ziadé, BCDR-AAA's Chief Executive Officer; Antonio R. Parra, former ICSID Deputy Secretary-General; and Adrian Winstanley, former LCIA Director General. Also in attendance was BCDR-AAA's Chief Operating Officer and Acting Chief Registrar Ahmed Husain, who worked with Ziadé on the Arabic translation of the rules. The sessions, which were conducted in both Arabic and English, attracted lawyers from local and international law firms, Bahraini government lawyers and other public officials.
The committee members discussed several provisions of the new rules, including those on the initiation of arbitration proceedings, the appointment and challenge of arbitrators, expedited procedures, emergency measures of protection, and summary disposal of claims. Other topics covered were the place and language of arbitration, applicable law, joinder and consolidation, party representation, limitation of liability, and fees. Each session ended with a period of questions and answers, during which audience interest focused particularly on the appointment of arbitrators, expedited procedures, joinder and consolidation, and party representation.
The message that emerged from these meetings was that the new BCDR-AAA rules provide a modern and comprehensive framework for both domestic and international commercial arbitration and are to be welcomed at a time when Bahrain is asserting its position as a favorable arbitration environment.
These were the first in a series of briefing sessions on BCDR-AAA's new arbitration rules. Further briefing sessions will be held within the region and internationally throughout 2018.