King Hamad ends move to discipline lawyers

February 5, 2011

Bahrain’s King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa has called for an end to the summoning of lawyers by the justice ministry disciplinary board.

Several lawyers are facing disciplinary action after they pulled out of the trial of 25 suspects held on charges of forming and belonging to a group working on destablising Bahrain.

The lawyers were all appointed by the justice ministry after the initial attorneys agreed not to defend their clients on grounds that their call for a probe into torture claims was not taken up by the court.

Under Bahrain’s laws, suspects must have attorneys during their trial, and the justice ministry was obliged to select lawyers for the 23 defendants held in Bahrain and the two who are being tried in absentia.

However, the suspects refused to cooperate with the appointed lawyers, prompting some of them to announce they would withdraw from the case for the inability to represent clients who rejected them.

But, for the justice ministry, the decision by the lawyers to walk out was a violation of the law and the minister said that they would be disciplined.

Bahrain Bar Society has tried to resist the minister’s move and sought to appease the situation amid growing calls by lawyers for the internationalization of the issue by brining into it Arab and international bar federations.

Receiving the society board on Wednesday, King Hamad stressed the significance of a positive environment that allows lawyers to perform independently and according to purely professional standards without influence from any party, Bahrain News Agency (BNA) reported.

King Hamad highlighted cooperation between the justice ministry and the Bahrain Bar Society and insisted on the partnership between them for the sake of training and qualifying new lawyers and reinforcing the rule of law in Bahrain, BNA said.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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