*** ----> Bahrain MPs advocate stricter debt regulations for foreigners | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Bahrain MPs advocate stricter debt regulations for foreigners

TDT | Manama                                                      

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

The Bahrain Council of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a proposal aimed at enforcing stricter debt settlement regulations for foreign investors.

In a decisive move during yesterday’s weekly session, the MPs voted to amend Article 64 of the Bahraini Penal Code to primarily set up stringent objective and procedural safeguards.

Notably, MPs Jameel Mulla Hasan and Mohammed Al-Maarafi stood as the sole nay-voters.

The council has entrusted the government with drafting the amendment, which is set to undergo review in upcoming sessions.

These measures are aimed at ensuring that foreign investors settle their debts entirely before departing the country.

The amendment seeks to ensure that foreign offenders subject to court-ordered deportation have fully cleared their financial obligations.

This pivotal step aims to safeguard the interests of individuals to whom these offenders owe debts. This proposal not only addresses the prevention of exploitation by foreign investors but also strives to establish a just and equitable legal environment.

Such measures underscore Bahrain’s commitment to modernise its legal framework in alignment with principles of justice and humanity while navigating the complexities of international finance and human rights challenges.

However, the Committee on Legislative and Legal Affairs has raised a crucial point of consideration.

They noted that prioritising debt settlement over deportation may constrain the discretionary powers of judges, especially in cases of serious crimes where deportation may serve the public interest more effectively.

MP Maryam Al-Dhaen emphasised the importance of protecting Bahrain’s reputation as an investment destination, urging stringent regulations to prevent exploitation by foreign investors.

Rights of creditors

She proposed legislation prohibiting foreign investors from departing the country without fully settling their debts, thus safeguarding the rights of creditors.

While the National Institution for Human Rights (NIHR) supports the proposal’s intent to combat fraud and protect creditors, it has cautioned against measures that may lead to the detention of individuals solely due to debt default.

The institution referred to Article 11 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, ratified by Bahrain in 2007, stating no imprisonment for failure to fulfill contract obligations.