RULES AND REGULATIONS
To view the legislations issued in the Kingdom of Bahrain during the last 90 days please visit this page available in the Legislation and Legal Opinion Commission website.
Constitution of Kingdom of Bahrain 2002
The Kingdom of Bahrain is a fully sovereign, independent Islamic Arab State whose population is part of the Arab nation and whose territory is part of the great Arab homeland. Its sovereignty may not be assigned or any of its territory abandoned.
The regime of the Kingdom of Bahrain is that a hereditary constitutional monarchy, which has been handed down by the late Sheikh Isa Bin Salman Al Khalifa to his eldest son Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the King. Thenceforward it will pass to his eldest son, one generation after another, unless the King in his lifetime appoints a son other than his eldest as successor, in accordance with provisions of the Decree on inheritance stated in the following clause
All provisions governing inheritance are regulated by a special Royal Decree that will have a constitutional character, and which can only be amended under the provisions or Article 120 of the constitution.
The system of government in the Kingdom of Bahrain is democratic, sovereignty being in the hands of the people, the source of all powers. Sovereignty shall be exercised in the manner stated in this constitution.
Citizens, both men and women, are entitled to participate in public affairs and may enjoy political rights, including the right to vote and to stand for elections, in accordance with this Constitution and the conditions and principles laid down by law. No citizen can be deprived of the right to vote or to nominate oneself for elections except by law.
Download Constitution Full text: PDF (1 MB)
Legislative Decree on Electronic Transactions
The Bahraini regulator has recently given more importance to include the technological, technical and electronic aspects of law at large. A step that came about as part of the regulator’s steadfast belief and commitment to keep abreast and take into consideration the latest fast–moving developments within the scope of transactions. The transactions have witnessed a shift from the conventional to the electronic - with a view to create a legal framework for eTransactions (electronic transactions). The current legislations cover the majority of electronic transactions with a core focus on unveiling aspects of ambiguities and lack of clarity. For this purpose, the regulator has enacted a set of relevant laws:
One of the key legislations to address eTransactions is the Legislative Decree No. 28 of 2002; which includes various issues related to electronic transactions. Thus, this law is considered to be the governing law for such transactions as it addresses issues of eTransactions.
The key features of this decree are as follows:
Acceptance of Electronic Transactions:
- This law does not oblige anyone to send, receive or use any electronic records or signatures without their consent. Excluding the public bodies, the consent may be implicitly given through a positive behavior.
- No provision in this law prohibits a person of engaging in an electronic transaction from establishing his own reasonable requirements about the manner in which to accept an electronic signature or electronic record.
Requirements for Acceptance of Electronic Records by Public Bodies:
- The consent of a public body to send or accept an electronic record or signature is given explicitly by way of a ministerial regulation, issue a decision of this law by the minister in charge for that public body and publish in an official newspaper. Such regulation shall determine the extent to which it will send and accept electronic records and signatures.
- The above-mentioned consent that is previously indicated shall always be subject to compliance with the technical requirements which are issued by a ministerial directive from the Cabinet Affairs Minister; within a period that does not exceed six months from date of implementation of this law’s provisions. Additionally, the decision is to be published in an official newspaper.
The requirements may specify the following:
- The style and format - including the information system standards - which must be applicable in creating, transmitting, communicating, delivering and storing electronic records along with other systems devised for such purposes.
- If eSignature is required to endorse the electronic record; the required type of eSignature, IT standards, format and style of eSignature on the record along with any other requirements should be identified and made available to verify the authenticity of the signature.
- Appropriate control processes and procedures are to ensure adequate preservation, disposition, integrity, security, confidentiality and auditability of electronic records.
- Any other required attributes for electronic records that are considered necessary or suitable under the circumstances.
- Any requirements for acknowledgement of receipt of the electronic records by the public body.
- The abovementioned provisions shall not prejudice any legislation that expressly prohibits the use of electronic means or expressly requires them to be used in specific ways.
- For the purpose of the preceding point, a reference to writing or signing does not in itself constitute a prohibition of the use of electronic means.
Download The Electronic Transactions Legislative Decree Full text: PDF (1.2 MB)
- The legal effectiveness, soundness and applicability of eSignature shall not be wholly or partly denied solely on the grounds in the electronic form.
- If the law stipulated a signature of a person or has any legal effect of signing a document, it is not signed, an electronic signature of that person satisfies the requirements of this law.
- In any legal proceedings involve an electronic signature that is associated with an Accredited Certificate, it shall be presumed unless the parties have agreed otherwise or unless evidence to the contrary is adduced that:
- The Electronic signature is the signature of the person to whom it correlates.
- Such electronic signature was affixed by that person to whom it correlates for the purpose of signing such electronic record.
- The electronic record that is signed with such signature has not been altered since the time the electronic signature was affixed.
- If the electronic signature is not made with the use of an Accredited Certificate, the presumption of an authenticity created under the provisions of the preceding Paragraph shall not be attached to the electronic signature or record.