Judicial Assistance Treaties

Since the late 1800s, states have used treaties to simplify the process of cross-border litigation. The Hague Conference on Private International Law has promulgated dozens of such conventions. Major Hague treaties to which the United States is a party address such issues as service of process, discovery and evidence gathering, the certification of public records, and family law issues like divorce, custody, and child support. The United States has also signed but not yet ratified two recent Hague treaties: the 2005 Choice of Court Convention and the 2019 Judgments Convention. The United States is also party to many Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties, which generally apply only to criminal cases.

A Primer on Judicial Assistance Treaties

[This post is one in a series of primers on various topics in transnational litigation. More primers can be found on our topic pages, accessible by clicking Topics at the top of the page.] In transnational litigation it will often be necessary to do something within the territory of another state, such as serve process,…

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Recent Posts

New Decision on Email Service Under the Hague Service Convention

Regular TLB readers may recall that federal district courts are struggling with an important procedural question: whether they may authorize email service when the defendant resides in a country that is party to the Hague Service Convention. In Smart Study Co. v. Acuteye-U.S., Judge Gregory H. Woods (SDNY) held that the answer is no. The…

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Further Developments in Smart Study

TLB has been following Smart Study v. Happy Party-001, a Chinese counterfeiting case in the Southern District of New York, since Judge Gregory Woods issued his thoughtful opinion last summer concluding that service by email on Chinese defendants is not permitted by the Hague Service Convention (a decision we covered in a prior blog post)….

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The Impossibility of Serving Russian Defendants

The Hague Service Convention is a blessing and a curse. By obligating each country that has joined to designate a Central Authority for effectuating service of process on defendants within its territory, the Convention provides a means of service that respects foreign sovereignty, complies with federal rules, and helps ensure the enforceability of resulting judgments….

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