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.

Recent Posts

A Primer on State Law in Transnational Litigation

[Editors: This post is one in a series of Primers on topics in transnational litigation. Primers on each of the topics listed in the Topics menu are planned, and some already appear on the relevant topic pages.] The procedural and substantive rules that U.S. courts apply in transnational litigation come from many sources, including the…

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Nonperforming States and the Hague Service Convention: What to Do About Russia

The Hague Service Convention is supposed to provide a reliable means of serving process abroad. But what can the United States do about countries like Russia that refuse to execute U.S. requests for service? In an earlier post, I suggested that the Convention could be interpreted, or reinterpreted, to permit service by email in states…

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District Court Quashes Substituted Service on Chinese Defendant

In a recent decision, Topstone Communications, Inc. v. Chenyi Xu, a federal court in Texas (Judge Keith Ellison) held that a plaintiff headquartered in Texas must serve defendants based in China by using the Hague Service Convention. The opinion provides a good analysis of how both substituted service on a state official and service by email…

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