From the Archives
Posted on August 24, 2018
Here, without comment, is a very interesting document, the Fourth Annual Report of the Commission on International Rules of Judicial Procedure, from the 1960s. I wanted to read it because I’ve got a case where I’m rebutting an argument that an obscure Massachusetts statute that mirrors § 1782 applies only to discovery in aid of sister-state litigation but not foreign litigation. The argument is wrong on its face, but I wanted to refer to the legislative history for confirmation. But it turns out that this report is hard to find. So I am posting it here as a public service in case anyone else is hunting for it.
I hadn’t really understood the close connection between § 1782 and the Uniform Interstate and International Procedure Act, a uniform act that a few states adopted at about the same time as the modern § 1782 was enacted. It’s also interesting to understand the anti-Trumpean idealism and smart practice of “soft power” that underlay these statutes, in which Hans Smit played a leading role:
The Commission hopes that the initiative taken by the United States in improving its procedures will invite foreign countries similarly to adjust their procedures. With the help of the Columbia Project, the Commission and its Advisory Committee have promoted study and discussion of their proposals in foreign countries. Enactment of the proposed bill should encourage foreign nations to follow the example of the United States.