The Hague Conference on Private International Law has just published The HCCH Service Convention in the Era of Electronic and Information Technology, a set of papers stemming from the HCCH a|Bridged 2019 conference held almost a year ago. I was one of the speakers, and my paper on Email as a Secure Means of Transmission under the HCCH Service Convention is the first paper in the collection.

In addition to my paper (which I hope you will read!), there are many interesting contributions. The papers in the first part of the publication mostly deal with the use of IT in the operation of the Convention as between central authorities, but Florian Heindler’s paper goes further and is particularly interesting. He wrestles with the misfit between territorial ideas of service and the digital reality of communication and proposes a novel “e-address” system. The second group of papers give an overview of electronic service in several national systems. Several scholars give views of the Convention (Prof. Louise Ellen Teitz’s article, asking whether the Convention is still “serviceable” despite its age, given that it was “made for a world of paper and borders,” is particularly interesting). The final group of papers cover a variety of topics, from service by social media to Brody Warren’s very interesting reflection on the meaning of the terms “postal channels” and the ways that an “open and modern” reading of the term can keep the Convention vital in this century.

I expect to have a few posts following up on these papers in the next few weeks, one on my paper, and probably one on Florian’s paper, which I found particularly thought-provoking.