Back in July 2011, I commented on some problems with implementation of the Hague Service Convention in Mexico. The Mexico situation caught others’ attention, too. In November 2011, the Consultoría Jurídica of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in collaboration with the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference and the Mexican Central Authority, held a workshop in Mexico City. Here are some highlights of the conclusions and recommendations:
- Mexico has amended its declarations. You can read the declarations in their entirety at the Hague Conference website, but I want to draw attention to Mexico’s position with regard to service by mail. The English translation of Mexico’s older declarations was ambiguous, as we saw in the discussion of Mitchell v. Volkswagen, but the new declaration leaves no room for doubt: ” In accordance with Article 21, second paragraph, subparagraph a), Mexico declares that it is opposed to the use in its territory of the methods of transmission provided for in Article 10.”
- The participants acknowledged that the competence of a forwarding authority is determined by the law of the sending state rather than the receiving state, that the model form should be signed by the forwarding authority but need not be signed by a court official.
- The participants acknowledged that “time limits for responses by addressees are subject to the law of the requesting State, not the requested State,” and that the Central Authority “may not condition compliance on requirements of its own internal law or existing judicial decisions.” This seems to be a reference to the the Mexican Central Authority’s insistence (its former insistence?) that a US summons indicate that the defendant has 21 calendar days to answer the complaint.
- The participants acknowledged that in some cases, service of process had be contested using recurso de amparo proceedings. The participants encouraged dissemination of information about the Convention to Mexican judges so as to make them aware of the requirements of the Convention.