This document presents the strategic work plan of the Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs, that reflects the Ministryís vision and its commitment to uphold the rights and freedoms, the public and private properties under the Constitution and the law through an independent judiciary system, and efficient legal system, effective and specialized legal and administrative body relying on qualified national cadres, and accessible laws and procedures, and up-to-date techniques.
This vision is implemented to support and develop the judicial, legal and administrative departments so as to enhance the principles of the independence of the judiciary and the respect of the rule of law in accordance with the political, social and cultural developments and to encourage an investment environment in the Kingdom of Bahrain and to create positive relations at national and international levels in order to provide high-quality services with efficiency and transparency with least cost and shortest possible time.
The Ministry has exerted great efforts to realize this vision and carry out such tasks. It has started since late 2003 to assess the development requirements in the judicial field opting for foreign expertise, and cooperated with a number of institutions such as, the American Bar Association, the British Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the American Department of State to achieve such development led by several achievements over the past years; it still needs to make further efforts to complete those achievements.
This requires setting up several objectives, formulating strategies and procedures, drafting and executing the necessary legislation to put up with the various legal, social and economic developments, taking into account what has so far been actually realized and the constraints and obstacles that might be met. The Ministry's objectives can be summarized as follows:
- Enhance the role of the Supreme Judicial Council and develop both systems of courts so as to enhance the independence of the judiciary;
- Enhance the role of the Public Prosecution;
- Develop the Ministryís administrative systems and structures and working methods, and improve the headquarters of courts and of the Public Prosecution;
Develop legislation associated with judicial services;
- Train and qualify national cadres, in the judicial, legal and administrative sectors;
- Activate the communication channels both at the national and international levels;
- Care for and invest minors' estates;
- Develop and modernize the notarization services;
- Make optimal use of information technology.
The Ministry of Justice has started the setting up of a plan to develop the courts' work since 2003. The first step was to assess the necessity of reform in the field of justice. This was carried out through several studies; the most important was a study by Mr. Markus ZIMMER, an official from the Federal Supreme Court of the United States of America.
As a result of the fruitful cooperation between the kingdom of Bahrain and the U.S.A State Department and the American Bar Association, a memorandum of understanding with the American Bar Association was signed in 2004, and a resident advisor from the American Bar Association was assigned to identify the necessary steps to be taken to develop the administration of the courts.
The kingdom has benefited from the British, Canadian, Italian and Australian expertise in the domain of justice. Several delegations composed of officials of the Ministry of Justice, judges and prosecutors were sent on training programs and field visits to many countries' judicial institutions. We can state here the visits to the United States, France, Austria, Slovakia and Egypt. On the other hand, the Kingdom of Bahrain received several experts to benefit from their experience in various legal areas and in what relates to the administration of courts and the handling of cases.
A number of studies on the development prospects were conducted and the American Bar Association provided a detailed report, prepared by a specialist in the field of information technology in the Federal Supreme Court of the United States of America, containing an assessment of information technology system in the Ministry. Another study was carried out in collaboration with a committee responsible for setting up the project of the management system so as to execute the best practices in this field. There were also several other studies and researches in various areas such as Alternatives of Dispute Resolution, Mediation in family disputes, and in other topics.
The Ministry of Justice and Islamic affairs is trying to pursue what it has started. After having made great steps in identifying developmental needs in the area of justice, it is heading now to draw a clear strategy including specific procedures so as to reach the aims which represent the realization of its vision and mission.
The realization of the objectives set up by the Ministry of Justice depends on a number of strategies, mechanisms and procedures which have to be set up taking into account the extent of its correlation with the vision of the Ministry of Justice Islamic affairs and its mission. What follows will be a brief outline of these strategies and procedures.
1- Enhance the role of the Supreme Judicial Council and develop both systems of the courts so as to enhance the independence of the judiciary;
By adopting the following strategies:
1-1-A- Establish the judicial development committee:
The committee to be formed by a decision by the Supreme Judicial Council shall be a permanent committee, including a number of high-level members of the judiciary and administrative authorities, the president of the Supreme Court, the president of the Court of Appeal and the Director of the Institute of Legal Studies. It is entrusted with all tasks related to the development of judicial performance, including in particular:
1-A-1 Review legislation relating to judicial work.
1-A-2 Study the conditions of all the members of the judiciary.
1-A-3 Analyze grievances received by the Supreme Judicial Council to determine and identify the obstacles and propose the appropriate solutions.
1-A-4 Meet with the judicial service Forum to identify obstacles and propose solutions thereto overcome them.
1-A-5 Give opinions and suggestions for the development of the courts' work before the courts and public prosecution.
1-A-6 Work on the standardization of trends of jurisdiction within the courts, especially in the area of judicial estimation of penalties and compensations.
1-A-7 Propose administrative supervision standards for the Supreme Judicial Council to develop proper functioning of the courts and its auxiliary bodies to be submitted to The Supreme Judicial Council.
1-A-8 Discuss all matters the committee views related to judicial development or the Supreme Judicial Council referred to the committee.
It is understood from what was stated earlier that the Development Committee will undertake a continuous self-evaluation of the functioning of the judicial sector its employees, and submit the necessary proposals to elevate the efficiency of judiciary develop and improve the level of the judicial service.
1-B- Revise the by laws of the Supreme Judicial Council:
So that the revised bylaws can accommodate for the enhancement of the role of the Supreme Judicial Council in advancing the independence of the judiciary and raising its efficiency
1-C- Media Speaker of the Supreme Judicial Council:
An appointed media speaker to the Supreme Judicial Council, who will regulate the relationship between the Council and the media, availing the Council to have more positive role and further independence in dealing with the media on all matters relating to judicial affairs.
1-D- Grant the Heads of Courts some Administrative Prerogatives:
The direct administrative supervision of the heads of courts would increase the efficiency of the judiciary, facilitate the judicial and administrative work of courts; avoid shortcomings and address them more effectively and expeditiously. This supervision would have two dimensions: first, overseeing the courts falling under each president of court, and coordination of action between these courts; second supervising the administrative affairs of the courts. This requires a decision by the Supreme Judicial Council specifying the scope and limits of this jurisdiction.
1-E- Set up Standards for the Performance of the Independence of the Judiciary:
1-E-1 In order to raise the efficiency of the judicial activity and provide the necessary guarantees for its independence, it is projected that the Supreme Judicial Council will issue a list enumerating the Performance and independence standards of the judiciary. The second will include supervision standards on the proper functioning of the courts and their auxiliary bodies. The two documents will be prepared by the Judicial Development Committee on the light of the studies it has carried out.
1- E- 2 The Supreme Judicial Council will periodically issue key performance indicators of the judiciary so as to allow for an ongoing evaluation of the level of efficiency of judicial performance. This evaluation is conducted by the Judicial Inspection Department.
1-F- Securing direct judicial supervision of Case Management Office and the Execution Directorate:
In order to provide further judicial guarantees for two of the most important stages of the judicial process, it is expected that the head of Case Management Office and the Execution Department would be from among the judiciary and would be directly responsible to the Council.
1-G- Establish Specialized Courts
1-G-1 the evolution of the investment environment in the Kingdom of Bahrain requires creation of specialized courts to decide financial, banking and investment disputes, so as to achieve a speedy resolution of issues of this kind to serves the purposes of development and creates incentives for investment.
1-G-2 one of the mechanisms of lessening the load of legal disputes on courts is the establishment of specialized courts for small claims.
1-G-3 This depends on the decision to be taken by the Supreme Judicial Council to determine the jurisdiction of those courts and their headquarters.
2- Enhance the Role of the Public Prosecution
The establishment of the Public Prosecution was one of the outcomes of the reform project of His Majesty the King of Bahrain. The Public Prosecution has made great strides and achieved an important part of the aspirations awaited from it. However, given the steady increase in the numbers of cases brought before the Public Prosecution and the disproportionate number of members and staff with such an increase, which doubled more than once, it has become very urgent to develop a new structure for the Prosecution and the General Directorate of material evidence to keep pace with the developments at the local, regional and international levels.
We will briefly review the main features of the development of the Public Prosecution, as follows:
2-A- Increase in the number of prosecutors, administrative staff and specialized technicians at the General Directorate of Material Evidence:
To cope with the findings of studies about the importance of setting up specialized public prosecutions in each governorates to expedite the cases and keep up with the international norms in emphasizing the importance of specialization to deal with for example, economic crimes , minorsí offences, and traffic violations; in addition to the establishment of a Material Evidence Directorate and any other that might be needed. The newly set up institutions as well as the existing ones shall be furnished with qualified staff so as to be able to fulfill the mission effectively.
2-B- Establish headquarters for the branches of public prosecution in the governorates and headquarters for the General Directorate of material evidence:
To meet special demands of increasing the number of members of the public prosecution, and the number of staff and technicians for the reasons mentioned previously, the establishment of a special venue to accommodate the new increase is an imperative necessity. In addition to that, the establishment of branches of the public prosecution within each governorate would lessen the hardships the litigants might come across in moving to the prosecution, and facilitate the prosecutorís access to the scenes of the crime. Consequently, effort and time are saved in a way that would positively affect the completion of investigations.
2-C- Activate the technical office of the General Prosecutor and the Judicial Inspection:
For the proper performance of work and the control of those carrying it out in order to upgrade the quality of technical work, which would in its turn, have a positive impact on the proper implementation of the law and meet the litigantsí needs.
2-D- Enhance the training programs of the staff of the Public Prosecution and the Directorate of Material Evidence in Bahrain:
For the aim of upgrading the educational and technical level of the staff of public prosecution and its staff , the technical cooperation of prosecutors and employees through adequate training of the distinguished Bahraini cadres and raising their level of performance which would result in saving effort and money, an aim much coveted by developed countries.
The activation of the Institute of Judicial Studies and the allocation of part of its programs to accommodate for the training needs of the members of the Public Prosecution will, certainly, contribute to realize this goal.
2-E- Set up Public Prosecution website:
Given the tremendous evolution in the use of the Internet and to simplify its use for those approaching the Public Prosecution, the construction of a secure website for the Public Prosecution would provide all the information on cases forwarded to it and allow easy accessibility. On the other hand, this would facilitate the work of researchers in the legal field and the related human sciences. It will also allow participants in international conferences and to reflect good image of the Kingdomís concern about justice and its interest in enhancing it.
2-F- Establish Directorates of Information Systems, Public Relations , the Legal , Social Guidance Division and Translation Unit:
The expanded use of computers has become an essential feature of any society aspiring to advance and progress due to the enormous saving of time and effort as well as the proper execution of work and the good conservation of its outcomes. For example, it has become more appropriate to substitute the traditional hand-written investigation. It has also allowed the creation of an electronic archive and the linking of the Public Prosecution with other relevant bodies, such as the Ministry of Interior and the criminal courts. The provision of legal and social assistance to people dealing with the Public Prosecution, specially convicted children and women to meet the requirements of local and international efforts in this regard and helps consolidate the noble humanitarian concepts in society, and facilitates access to relevant statistics for the benefit of all participants in international forums.
2-G- Establish a Prosecution for the Execution of Criminal sentences:
No benefit comes from a sentence that is not executed. Every year thousands of sentences most of which have been taken as final and enforceable are not enforced. In so many cases the victim can not present his civil claim for damages. The studies have shown a huge increase in the number of judgments issued by courts, a fact that renders the establishment of a specialized Prosecution to communicate these judgments and execute them since the execution of judgments is the ultimate goal and true essence of the work of the Prosecution, and failure to execute them would result in time and effort being lost and confidence in the judiciary being shaken.
3-A- Organizational structures and work methods
The existence of an organized general administration and the proper scientific planning for its human and financial resources is the cornerstone for achieving the desired objectives required Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs, to endorse a number of procedures and adopting a number of mechanisms for that purpose as follows:
3-A-1 Develop Files Management System
The existence of an effective system to manage files would add to the efficiency , access to information and would increase the effectiveness of the administration in taking appropriate decisions in a short time. Such development starts with improving the method of preparing and saving files, in addition the methods of its circulation and its electronic management.
3-A-2 Activate the Judicial Institutes' organizational level
To allow the Institute of Judicial Studies to play its aspired role in guaranteeing a continuous training and development for all its staff involved in the legal and judicial system requires the completion of the administrative and management structures necessary for the commencement of its activities in identifying training needs and converting them into plans of sustainable human development .
3-A-3 Develop Political Societies Affairs Office.
Law No. 26 of 2005 relating to political societies entrusted to the Minister of Justice many tasks regarding the implement of the provisions of the law whether those concerning the establishment of such associations or those referring to the proper monitoring of the enforcement of the law. This necessitated the issuance of several resolutions to implement this law, clarify the procedures of foundation and adjust the situations of existing associations. The provision also set the rules regulating the relationship between these associations and other associations, organizations and political parties abroad. For this reason, many records were up set so as to ensure follow-up and registration of the relevant procedures. The political developments achieved in the Kingdom, and the increase and diversity of political societies requires a similar development in the relevant administrative structure and the allocation of more financial and highly qualified human resources and the upgrading of work systems to ensure strict and efficient execution of what is stipulated by the law in this respect.
3-A-4 Develop Courts Structures on the level of administration
This development aims to allow each court to have its own administrative ability to conduct its procedures so as to function as a separate entity including secretaries, a department for filing , decisions follow up and a and judgment drafting .
3-A-5 Develop The Registrar General Office
The Office of the Registrar General provides services of great importance and diversity some of which relate to the issuance licenses of lawyers and experts, while the others relate to various judicial procedures. This requires a constant development of this office in terms of working systems and human resources to ensure its ability to function effectively and to perform its tasks efficiently.
3-A-6 Develop and upgrade the Translation Unit at the Ministry
The Translation Unit within the Ministry takes on very extremely important functions, given, especially, the increasing numbers of residents who do not speak Arabic. In view of the importance and sensitivity of judicial services, upgrading the efficiency of this unit on the technical level and providing it with the qualified human resources to allow it to carry out its functions with great effectiveness.
3-A-7 Activate and develop the Selection and Recruitment Committee
The right selection of personnel and their placing in the right positions that suit their abilities represents the first essential step towards achieving a sound and successful management of human resources. This justifies the importance of activating and developing the work methods and techniques of the selection and recruitment committee.
3-A-8 Develop Legal Research
The aim of development in this regard is the creation of qualified legal cadres in the Ministry with establishment of judicial assistant positions to facilitate the performance of the judges in carrying their tasks.
3-A-9 Prepare Procedural Manuals to smooth Work performance
Public awareness of rules, regulations and procedures of the administration where they seek services represents an important factor in easily and promptly getting the required service. It also facilitates administrative work for the different parties. Therefore it is necessary to draft procedural manuals to be them available for reference when needed. This shall include:
3-A-1-9 Auditorsí Services Manual
3-A-2-9 Courts and Litigation Procedures Manual
3-A-3-9 Authentication Procedures Manual
3-A-4-9 Execution Courts Procedures Manual
3-A-5-9 Financial Manual Procedures for Investment of Minorsí Estates.
3-A-10 Interest The Middle Administration
Experience has shown that the middle management level that is directors and supervisors divisions consume most of the time in accomplishing the administrative tasks of administration; meanwhile, it is the least fortunate in terms of the planning and the development of human resources programs' interest. it is strongly recommended to draw special attention to this level of administrators, and to devise more development and career enhancement programs for them due to the important role they play as they represent a link between the of senior and lower levels of management. The middle management is more equipped than the other administrative levels to diagnose problems and suggest practical solutions.
3-A-11 Activate, develop internal auditing and procedures observers
The internal financial and administrative auditing would reduce margins of error, thereby reducing the material cost and time spent to correct them. This requires upgrading the efficiency of the existing structures undertaking the role of financial and procedural control, and developing its work systems in a way that guarantees its fulfilling the functions assigned to them.
3-A-12 Develop Internal Correspondence Software and/ or Auditors' Requests Handling
The electronic handling of internal correspondence and the requests made by auditors greatly facilitates the administrative work within the Ministry, resulting in the reduction of the time spent in the circulation of correspondence, manual requests and, consequently raises the efficiency of the administration in dealing with such ordinary tasks.
3-B- Develop Headquarters of Courts and Prosecutions:
Developing the headquarters of courts and prosecutions has become an urgent necessity dictated by population growth which resulted in an increase in the number of cases filed, and by the social and economic developments that the Kingdom has witnessed on the other hand. This development would facilitate things for both judges and litigants. It will boost the efficiency of judicial process, and it shall be implemented in what follows:
3-B-1 Allocation of five premises to be used as junior criminal courts and Governorate prosecutions, with each governorate having its own court. This will bring courts, and naturally, judicial service closer to the litigants and will increase the efficiency, speed up the investigation, evidence collection and inspection.
3-B-2 The allocation of suitable headquarters for courts in addition to increasing capacity utilization headquarters of the courts and the Office of the Ministry of Justice to accommodate in the number of cases evolution, and to facilitate matters for judges, litigants and auditors.
4- Develop Legislation Related to Judicial Services
Achieving the goals associated with the vision of the Ministry of Justice and Islamic affairs may require as well the development of the infrastructure and related systems, legislative amendements in the laws and regulations the aspects of which can be presented as follows:
4-A- Amendment of Procedure Law
These amendments concentrate on the attempt to accelerate the procedures of pleading and overcome the flaws that lead slowing of these procedures and to reduce the load laid on the Court of Appeal and the Court of Cassation by:
4-A-1 Adopt case management system and submit it to complete judicial control: Pursuant to this law an office for the civil cases management would be established. It would be responsible for receiving cases and the documents supporting them, informing the defendant and summon him to present his defenses, evidences and proofs that refute the claim. The manager of the case is also responsible for hearing the witnesses, and appointing the experts. He eventually prepares a report summarizing the content of the case and stating the proofs of the litigants. The report shall also include his legal opinion about the dispute which shall be submitted to both the plaintiff and defendant. If they accept his opinion about the case he shall include this in the records which acquire the strength of executive authority. However, if they donít accept his opinion, the case manager has to submit the dispute to the competent court.
4-A-2 Amend provisions relating to execution: in order to increase the effectiveness of enforcement procedures by setting up a general Directorate of Execution headed by a judge and, assisted by several officials and policemen. Added to this there would be an amendment of some procedural provisions relating to execution in order to simplify them and boost effectiveness.
4-A-3 Amend provisions relating to notification in order to increase their effectiveness and minimize the time needed and allow for notification through electronic means according to special conditions issued by the Minister of Justice and Islamic affairs approved by the Supreme Judiciary Council.
4-A-4 Adopt the system of irrevocable judgments to minimize the number of challenges in the High Courts (Appeal Court and Cassation Court).
4-B Amend criminal procedures law: these amendments aim at realizing rapid decisions on cases and providing more guarantees to litigants. These amendments include:
4-B-1 Amend of Criminal Order System by allocating the prerogative of its issuance to the member of the General Prosecution
4-B-2 Improve provisional detention conditions
4-B-3 Include more crimes under crimes list that are likely to be settled by reconciliation between litigants.
4-C Amend Penal Code
The ratifications of several international conventions by the Kingdom of Bahrain made it a mandatory for the signatory countries to amend their legislation in a way to accommodate for new crimes described in these conventions and specify their corresponding punishments. This included the transnational organized crime convention and its protocols, the United Nations' Convention against Corruption, and the United Nations Convention against torture and other Cruel, Inhuman Degrading Treatment or Punishment, in addition to many other conventions. This necessitates the amendment of the penal code to be in harmony with these conventions.
4-D Amend Law Traffic
By allowing more prerogatives to the Agents of Judicial Order in this regard, and minimize the number of cases to be decided by the criminal courts.
4-E Amend expertise system
This will include amending the expertise law and the following two laws:
4-E-1 Amend law of evidence in relation to the expertise system at the courts by allowing litigants to choose it experts themselves under the supervision of the court and according to special conditions guaranteeing neutrality and transparency and efficiency. It shall also allow presentation of a single report by several experts in accordance with the provisions intended to be added.
4-E-2 Revise the experts law of the docket at the courts.
4-F-2 Mediation System
Due to modern judicial trends, and in order to provide easier and less costly alternative solutions, to settle litigations, that have been applied in various judicial systems, although this requires the passage through the legislative system regulating the situations and the cases of its application.
4-Cassation Court law
By adding an article to this law allowing this court to convene in the deliberation chamber in the presence of the head of the technical office to resolve the appeals referred to the court to decide them, or those appeals that the court has already established principles and rules about them. This shall be carried out through curtailed procedures to help reduce the number of appeals referred to this court and accelerate the process of their settlement.
4-H Personal Status Judiciary
Developing the personal status judiciary requires the introduction of some new legislation or amending some existing ones in the following way:
4-H-1 Work toward the issuance of a personal status law observing the sectarian differences and particularities.
4-H-2 Create a division within the cassation court to examine appeals instituted up on procedural flaws in the decisions issued by the personal status court.
4-H-3 Amend procedures law before personal status courts by the inclusion familial conciliation system.
4-H-4 Set up special law regulating the work of marriage officials.
4-I- Decorum and Conduct Codes.
It is expected that the Supreme Judicial Council would issue number of codes of decorum and conduct of the members of the judicial authority, lawyers, clerks and experts.
4-J Amend Notarization Law
To introduce an Electronic Notarization System, and offering an opportunity to private notarization activities.
5-Train and qualify national judicial, legal and administrative cadres
5-A The Judicial Studies Institute
The judicial studies institute was established as per decree 69 for 2005 to carry out its main functions in the judicial and legal training targeting judges and members of the Public Prosecution, members of the department of legal affairs, lawyers and judicial assistants.
It is expected to lay down a general strategy to train the members of the judicial authority in a way that this strategy involves basic training in addition to continuous specialized training encompassing various training activities.
5-B Administrative Training Committee:
It is expected that a decree will be issued by the Minister of Justice to form a committee specializedin administrative training to set a training methodology for each of:
5-B-1 Administrative leaderships
5-B-2 The supervisors of the Middle Management
5-B-3 Train staff in computing and other training needs
6- Activate Communication Channels on the national and international levels
In order to activate and promote channels of cooperation between the Ministry and other International Authorities and Institutions, and laying down the framework of communication with the media.
6-A Activate International Cooperation Unit:
This requires that several functions and tasks be assigned to the Unit of International Cooperation as follows;
6-A-1 Follow up of the representation of the ministry in the national and ministerial committees required to take part in.
6-A-2 Follow up of negotiations regarding international and regional conventions on the level of the United Nations, the League of Arab Nations and the Gulf Cooperation Council.
6-A-3 Follow up of the requests presented by states in what relates to deputation, extradition , legal and judicial jurisdiction.
6-B Relation between the judiciary and the media
Establishing a clear and well-defined framework for the relationship between the judiciary and the media creates a balance between the considerations dictated by fulfilling judicial services with transparency on the one hand, and considerations of respecting and preserving the privacy of litigants and the secrecy of judges' deliberations, and preventing the media influence on the judiciary on the other hand. In order to fulfill this goal it would be proper to adopt the two following mechanisms:
6-B-1 Coordinate the relationship between the judiciary and the media by setting down the rules to the way of providing and accessing information
6-B-2 Appoint a spokesman to the Ministry of Justice and Islamic affairs.
7- Safe Guard and invest Minors' Estates
The Ministry, in order to fulfill its missions and goals concerning minors' properties, has to adopt a four-point strategy including:
1- Activate the role of the Guardianship Council in a way that meets the new developments in Bahrain both in the social and economic environments.
2- Promote the administrative body responsible for the management of these estates and the departments assisting the council of guardianship according to the latest development systems on the human as well as on the technical levels.
3- Follow a policy of investment of minors' estates that guarantees the highest profitability and the lowest risks to preserve capitals.
4- Help and train the minors to rely on themselves in the good management of their properties.
Through a comprehensive development vision, and in order to achieve its goals, the ministry is applying a pack of procedures that include:
1- Support the inclusion in the Council of Guardianship of people expert in the different fields that the Council need for the proper carrying of its activities.
2- Form a specialized committees from the members of the Council to ensure a more effective role for the Council.
3- Restructure the administrative body of estates management and the secretariat of the Council to allow for a more flexible and more conscious organization capable of playing its roles in compliance with the requirements of the future development stage.
4- Adopt a financial and administrative list to organize the progress of work in the new administrative organization.
5- Handover estates to those who have become qualified to manage their affairs by themselves and resolve intricate financial relations ensuing from mixed estates owned by a minor and other people.
6- Adopt the modern technical system of notarization within the administrative body responsible for managing minors' estates. authorities.
7- Link this body to the electronic system of the Ministry of Justice and the related to the management of Minors' Estates.
8- Prepare and equip a building for the Council of Guardianship and its auxiliary departments related to it in a way that meets the requirement of the next stage.
8- Develop and update the notarization services
Improvement will be centered in the field of the notarization services on two areas. The first is the improvement of notarization techniques and linking it to the various institutions of the state in order to achieve the highest degrees of precision and discipline. The second is related to the privatization of some notarization activities.
8-A Electronic Notarization.
8-A-1 Improve notarization and offer computerized notarization services in order to facilitate the task of staff and the access by citizens.
8-A-2 Connect the Notarization Office electronically with the other institutions of the state such as the Land Survey and Registration Office and the General Statistics Organization.
9- Privatise notarization Services
Some of the notarization will be privatized and entrusted to lawyers given the close link of lawyers' work with notarization
10-Make optimal use of information technology
In compliance with the modernization process started by the Bahrain Government in the different institutions, the Ministry of Justice has identified the principal features of the optimal use of the latest breakthroughs in the field of information technology within the judiciary as follows:
1- Carry out judiciary services effectively, rapidly and at the low costs.
2- Prepare judicial institutions for an adequate environment to attract regional and international investments.
3- Consolidate the judicial institutions which positively affect the quality of the judicial decision.
4- The ideal investment of the Ministry's resources allocated for laying down the infrastructure of information technology.
5- The rapid completion of the Ministry's technical commitments to the project of establishing the unified gulf cooperation council legal network.
6- Improve and update legal decisions and procedures.
The Ministry has adopted a set of executive correlated plans and projects to realize these goals the most prominent of which are:
1- Improve the information system of the judiciary's data base according to the latest applicable and updatable programming systems (the Oracle system).
2- Computerize the notarization cycle of progress of the case starting from its filing stage and until the adoption of the execution procedures.
3- Adopting the electronic judicial number by assigning the case a unique number at the different levels of prosecution which allows its follow up from the start of the judicial litigation until the execution of the ruling.
4- The gradual execution of the system of the electronic notary in cooperation with the private sector and in accordance with the Kingdom's economic policy.
5- Draft law projects to prepare for the application of the electronic notary system, such as an electronic system of contracts.
6- Opt for scanning of electronic archives of all documents of the judiciary.
7- Adopt an information system to carry out regular statistics about the cases in circulation and those already settled and compare them with the common indices in a way that supports taking the proper decisions about any registered increase in the number of cases.
8- Prepare courts facilities and buildings for a better implementation of the developed information system.
9- Strengthen the concepts of information management within the judicial community, train judges and personnel on the use of information technology, and secure specialized national and trained work force.
10- Set up a website for the Ministry.
11- Link the Ministry and the sectors of the judiciary within a single network.
12- Connect the network of the Ministry with the other governmental sectors' networks.
13- Adopt an electronic system to make use of the judiciary network in a way that guarantees the flow of information with effectiveness, secrecy, precision and security.
14- Adopt unified standards for correspondence and the exchange of documents on the internet between the sectors of the judiciary and the other governmental institutions.
15- Design a website for the supreme judicial council.
16- Form a joint committee from the Ministry of Justice and the Supreme Judicial Council and the Department of Legal Affairs to follow up the progress of realization of information technology projects so as to avoid delays.
17- Cooperate with other ministries of justice in countries applying the systems of information technology for the exchange of expertise.
18- Cooperate, on the technological level, with international companies in the field of computerizing information such as Microsoft and Oracle so that the Ministry can avail of high level of development at reasonable costs.
19- Implement the video and audio system in the courts and prosecutions, as the system was tried in some courts as part of a study of the feasibility of implementation.