Let’s Help Improve The Hague Evidence and Service Conventions!

The International Litigation Committee of the ABA is assisting the State Department in soliciting comments from practitioners on the operation of the Hague Service and Evidence Conventions. The comments will be used by the State Department in identifying issues to raise during the upcoming meeting of the Special Commission on the Practical Operation of the Service, Evidence and Access to Justice Conventions, which takes place in May. With the permission of the ABA committee, I am reprinting the questionnaire here. If you have made use of either of the Conventions since 2009 and would like to participate, please send me your answers, and I will pass them along to the ABA. Answers are due to the ABA by March 14, so please get them to me by March 13.

  1. Hague Evidence Convention
    1. HCCH (Hague Conference) website
      1. Have you consulted the HCCH website regarding the Evidence Convention? How useful is the information on the Evidence Section of the HCCH website (www.hcch.net)?
      2. Do you have any comments or suggestions for improvement?
    2. Incoming Letters of Request (Chapter I): In your experience, what has been the time (in months) for execution of Incoming Chapter I Evidence requests (between the time of receipt of the Letter of Request and the completion of the discovery in the US)?
    3. Outgoing Letters of Request (Chapter I)
      1. In your experience, what has been the time (in months) for execution of Outgoing Chapter I Evidence requests (between the time of receipt of the Letter of Request and the completion of the discovery abroad)?
      2. Have you experienced any problems with the timely execution of Letters of Request sent abroad to other Contracting States? If yes, please specify the problem and suggest solutions:
    4. Use of consuls and commissioners (Chapter II)
      1. Since 2009 have you had any cases involving the taking of evidence in the US for proceedings commenced in another Contracting State (incoming cases)? If yes, how long did the discovery take, and please describe any issues, problems or delays you encountered.
      2. Since 2009 have you had any cases involving the taking of evidence in the territory of another Contracting State for proceedings commenced in the US (outgoing cases)? If yes, how long did the discovery take, and please describe any issues, problems or delays you encountered.
    5. General assessment of the Evidence Convention
      1. How do you rate the general operation of the Convention? (Excellent; Good; Satisfactory; Unsatisfactory):
      2. Do you consider there to be any positive or problematic aspects of the operation of the Convention? If so, please specify (including any suggestions for improvement).
    6. Use of information technology
      1. Have you received or sent any Letters of Request under the Evidence Convention by electronic means (e.g., by fax or e-mail)? If yes, please specify:
      2. Have you received or sent any Letters of Request involving the use of a video-link in their execution? If yes, please describe how the video-link was used:
      3. Please indicate any obstacles particular to the taking of evidence by video-link under Chapters I or II:
    7. Electronic evidence (e-discovery):
      1. Have you received or sent Letters of Request that expressly requested information stored in digital form (i.e., electronic evidence)? If yes, please specify (including how the Letter of Request was executed):
      2. Please indicate any obstacles particular to the execution of Letters of Request for electronic evidence:
  2. Hague Service Convention
    1. Are you experiencing any problems with the timely execution of requests for service sent to other Contracting States? If yes, please specify the problem:
    2. How do you rate the general operation of the Convention? (Excellent; Good; Satisfactory; Unsatisfactory)
    3. Do you consider there to be any positive or problematic aspects of the operation of the Convention? If yes, please specify (including any suggestions for improvement):
    4. Use of information technology: have you received or sent service under the Service Convention by electronic means (e.g., by fax, e-mail or secure online platforms)? If so, please comment on the effectiveness of this service in your experience.
    5. Are there any specific topics or practical issues in the operation of the Service Convention that you would like to have addressed? If so, please specify:

About Ted Folkman

Ted Folkman is a shareholder with Murphy & King, a Boston law firm, where he has a complex business litigation practice. He is the author of International Judicial Assistance (MCLE 2012), a nuts-and-bolts guide to international judicial assistance issues, and of the chapter on service of process in the ABA's forthcoming treatise on International Aspects of US Litigation, and he is the publisher of Letters Blogatory, the Web's first blog devoted to international judicial assistance, which the ABA recognized as one of the best 100 legal blogs in 2012, 2014, and 2015.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *