British Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction in the Gulf 1913–1971

ISBN:  978-1-85207-840-9  Extent: 1 volume, 300 pages
Author: Dr H. Al Baharna LL.B  Published: 1998
Paper: Printed on acid free paper
Binding: Library bindings with gilt finish
See sample pages: not available


This study presents an account of the exercise of extra-territorial jurisdiction by Britain in the Arab Gulf States during the period before they gained full sovereignty and independence. This work provides a valuable analysis of the working of the British Court System in the Arab context. The material is based on the author´s original research among the juridical records of the British Court for Bahrain and on interviews with judges and lawyers of the period.
This publication is priced as a specialised academic monograph and is a relevant acquisition for law libraries and Middle East history collections. 


A New Academic Study On The Legal History Of The Arab Gulf
 Dr Husain M. Al Baharna gained a Doctorate in Public International Law from the University of Cambridge, and is Barrister-at-Law of Lincoln´s Inn (London), and a member of the Bahrain Bar Association. He was Minister of Legal Affairs for Bahrain from 1972 to 1995. He is currently Legal Counsel for the State of Bahrain on International Law. This work is a scholarly study, based on extensive legal experience, of the exercise of extra-territorial jurisdiction by Britain in the Arab Gulf states in the 20th century before the states reached full independence. The study is based partly on data collected from the juridical records of the British Court for Bahrain, and partly on information gathered by the author from British judges and lawyers who worked in the extra-territorial legal system.
Scope And Objectives Of The Study
Chapter 1 reviews the evolution of political institutions in the Gulf countries and describes their juridical status in international relations. Chapter 2 describes the historical antecedents in the form of Capitulations, the institution of Consular Courts and Mixed Courts that bear a relationship to the present study. Chapter 3 explains the juridical basis for the exercise of British extra-territorial jurisdiction in the Gulf. As the question engages international law as much as municipal law, it has been examined from both points of view. Chapter 4 depicts the territorial and personal aspects of extra-territorial jurisdiction which explain the nature and scope of British jurisdiction in the Gulf. The chapter also explains the changing character of this jurisdiction. Chapter 5 sets out the sources of law that the British courts were called upon by the Orders-in-Council to apply in the settlement of cases that came up before them. It would seem that considerable latitude was given to the Political Agency in the adaptation of English law to individual circumstances. The British courts were authorised to apply the principles of justice, equity and good conscience. The Orders-in-Council were enabled to adapt to the local customs of the Gulf in certain situations. Chapter 6 explains the structure of the courts set up by the British Government for the Gulf countries and their relation to one another, bringing out the differences between these courts and those in England. Chapter 7 describes the jurisdiction in criminal cases, specifying the penalties to be imposed and the discretion to be enjoyed by the judges in the matter of penalties. The chapter also points to the relationship between the local government and the British Court in the matter of conduct of trials and execution of sentences. Chapter 8, which covers civil jurisdiction, is by far the largest chapter in the study. It depicts the wide range of cases dealt with by the British Court for Bahrain and the way it actually exercised its functions. It reflects the cooperative relationship between local institutions and the British courts. Chapter 9 reviews the legal position as regards the so-called mixed cases, which involved both persons subject to the Orders-in-Council and others not subject to the Orders. These cases were to be decided by the so-called Joint Courts, which comprised a British Judge and the Ruler of the State or his appointee. In practice, the Joint Courts only played a limited role.


Chapter 1: Background: The Arabian Gulf States
The Evolution of the Arabian Gulf States
The Evolution of the British Political Sphere of Influence in the Gulf
The Systems of Government in the Gulf
The Status of the Gulf States under International Law
The Beginning and End of British Extra-territorial Jurisdiction in the Gulf

Chapter 2: Historical Antecedents
The Capitulatory System
The Consular Courts
The Mixed Courts of Egypt
Extra-territoriality in China

Chapter 3: The Legal Basis of Extra-territorial Jurisdiction
International Legal Aspects
Treaty Practice
The Position under Municipal Law
Interpretation of the Foreign Jurisdiction Act of 1890

Chapter 4: The Scope of Extra-territorial Jurisdiction in the Gulf
Territorial Extent of British Jurisdiction
Persons Subject to the Order in Council
Special Issues Arising out of Article 8 of the Orders
The End of British Jurisdiction in the Gulf

Chapter 5: The Law of the British Courts
Analysis of Article 12

Chapter 6: The Judicial Machinery

The British Courts for Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the Trucial States, and the Consular Court for Muscat
The Chief Court for the Persian Gulf
The Full Court for the Persian Gulf
The Joint Court and the Joint Court of Appeal

Chapter 7: Jurisdiction in Criminal Matters
Original Jurisdiction
Appellate Jurisdiction
Case Law

Chapter 8: Civil Jurisdiction
Original Jurisdiction
Appellate Jurisdiction

Chapter 9: Mixed Cases
The Legal Framework for Mixed Cases
Establishment of Joint Courts
Jurisdiction in Criminal Mixed Cases
Jurisdiction in Civil Mixed Cases
Appeal and Review in Mixed Cases
The Law Applicable to Mixed Cases
Evaluation of Joint Courts
Foreign Jurisdiction Act, 1890
The Bahrain Order, 1959
Terms of 1861 Convention
The Bahrain Transfer of Jurisdiction Regulations, 1972