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

SDNY Rejects Service by Email on Chinese Companies

In Smart Study Co. v. Acuteye-US, a federal court in the Southern District of New York (Judge Gregory Woods) rejected service by email on Chinese companies in a trademark and copyright infringement case. China and the United States are parties to the Hague Service Convention. The court reasoned that the Convention precludes service by email,…

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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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