From October 17-19, CLDP conducted a workshop, in cooperation with the Bahrain Supreme Judicial Council, on international best practices in the automation of court procedures. The workshop was led by US Federal Judges Sidney Stein and Kevin Castel in addition to the Chief Judge of the North Carolina Business Court, James Gale, and the Chief Judge of the Dubai Commercial Court, Mohamed Al-Sabousy. The program participants included judges and administrators from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Morocco and Jordan, nearly all of which are in the process of developing or improving their court automation systems. The event was conducted as part of CLDP’s ongoing Contract Enforcement program in the MENA region to strengthen and streamline the dispute resolution process in the national courts.
The goal of the workshop was to show how court automation can create a more transparent, predictable and efficient dispute resolution process, which is essential for economic development. The workshop provided the participants with an overview of the court automation systems in the US Federal Courts, the North Carolina Business Court and the Dubai Courts, which are some of the most advanced systems in the world. The sessions also discussed how to effectively transition from a paper-based to an automated system and the lessons learned from the process globally. In addition, the workshop included a session on developing the necessary rules and legal framework that would govern the automated process citing the Electronic Case Filing Rules used in the US Federal Courts. Finally, the Dubai and North Carolina judges made presentations on the creation of business courts as a way of streamlining the dispute resolution process and the potential for using the business court as a pilot for court automation.