Bahrain’s arbitration centre welcomes Lord Woolf
Manama, March 7, 2010
Bahrain’s arbitration and mediation centre (BCDR-AAA) played host to Lord Woolf of Barnes and president of the QFC Civil and Commercial Court during his visit to the Kingdom recently.
Shaikha Haya bint Rashed Al Khalifa, chairperson of BCDR-AAA board of the trustees welcomed Lord Woolf to the Bahrain office in the presence of Ahmed Hussain, chief registrar arbitration BCDR-AAA; Dr Hassan Radhi, member of the BCDR-AAA board of trustees; Shaikh Abdulla bin Ahmad Al Khalifa and Malik Dahlan.
The BCDR-AAA, which opened its doors for business on January 11, became the first alternative dispute resolution centre to introduce statutory arbitration under section one of its decree which stipulates that cases where the amount contested exceeds BD500,000 ($1.3 million) will automatically be heard by BCDR-AAA rather than the national courts.
Bahrain also became the first country to offer an arbitration “free zone” under section two of the decree which states that the national courts cannot interfere with the arbitral award granted by BCDR-AAA where two parties have agreed to be bound by the outcome.
Lord Woolf described the chamber’s plans as very exciting and said it 'reflected forward looking approaches to dispute resolution.'
'The two part approach (statutory arbitration and the arbitration “free zone”) is both sensible and constructive and I would expect that the initiative will be very successful. The BCDR-AAA has a very long future which will be most important for Bahrain in particular and in the region in general,' he added.
'I hope that there is going to be close co-operation between QFC Civil and Commercial Court and ADR Centre in Doha and the BCDR-AAA because both in their respected ways are determined to assist those who seek help to resolve their disputes expeditiously, fairly and in a most straight forward manner,' Lord Woolf remarked.
Shaikha Haya said: “We are honoured to have received Lord Woolf at the BCDR-AAA. He is an eminent legal figure of the highest order. It is very important that arbitration and mediation centres in the region and in the world communicate.”
Ahmed Husain said both the BCDR-AAA and the QFC Civil and Commercial Courts understand that the Gulf as a region is growing rapidly.
'Foreign direct investment and the increase of multinationals in the region means that legal arbitration frameworks of the highest standard are needed in order to attract and maintain international trade and investment,' he added.-TradeArabia News Service