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HomeSéparateurFocusSéparateurAmericasSéparateurNAPPS USASéparateur50th anniversary of the Hague Convention of 15 November 1965 on the Service of Documents Abroad
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50th anniversary of the Hague Convention of 15 November 1965 on the Service of Documents Abroad

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The UIHJ participated on 2 November 2015 at the Law Center of Georgetown University in Washington (USA) at the 50th Anniversary of the Hague Convention of 15 November 1965 on the Service of Documents Abroad and the 45th Anniversary of the Hague Convention of 18 March 1970 on the Taking of Evidence Abroad.

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Christophe Bernasconi, Secretary General of The Hague Conference on Private International Law
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The conference was co-sponsored by the Hague Conference on Private International Law, the American Branch of the International Law association, the American Society of International Law, the ABA Section of International Law and the International Law Institute.

About eighty people from a dozen countries participated in this international conference on the theme: "The Service of Process and Taking of Evidence Abroad: The Impact of “Electronic Means” on the Operation of the Hague Conventions”. The UIHJ was represented by Sue Collins, member of the board, and Mathieu Chardon, Secretary General. The National Association of Professional Process Servers (NAPPS), member of the UIHJ was represented by Gary Crowe and Celeste Ingalls.

Patrick P. Stewart, Professor from practice at the Georgetown Law Center and William Treanor, Dean of the Georgetown Law Center welcomed in turn the participants.

Christophe Bernasconi, Secretary General of the Hague Conference on Private International Law presented his organization as well as the two celebrated conventions. He recalled that 79 countries as well as the European Union are members of the Hague Conference and that 146 countries are connected by at least one Hague Convention. With regard to The Hague Convention of 15 November 1965 on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil and Commercial Matters, Mr. Bernasconi welcomed the delegation of the UIHJ. He recalled that the UIHJ was at the origin of this convention and, by the play of Article 10 b), the documents could be transmitted directly between the judicial officers of the signatory countries, enabling extremely fast service (forty-eight hours). The Secretary General of the Hague Conference said that over 40,000 requests for service are issued and that the duration of the whole process does not exceed two months in 75% of cases.

Christophe Bernasconi finally mentioned the work in the pipeline of the Hague Conference on Private International Law: judgments Project, private international law issues surrounding the status of children, recognition and enforcement of foreign civil protection orders, recognition and enforcement of voluntary cross-border agreements, co-operation in respect of protection of tourist and visitors abroad, use of video-link and other modern technologies in the taking of evidence abroad. He also announced that the new Practical Handbook on the Operation of the Service Convention and a Handbook on the Operation of the Evidence Convention will be available in December 2015.

The day was divided into four panels.

The first panel was entitled "How We Got Where We Are: The Conventions in Theory and Practice." The moderator was Peter Trooboff, Senior Counsel in the Washington office of Covington & Burling LLP (USA). The three speakers were Theodore J. Folkman, lawyer at Murphy & King in Boston (USA), Mathieu Chardon, and Alejandro Manevich, Counsel with the Toronto boutique firm Ricketts Harris LLP (Canada).

Mathieu Chardon presented the UIHJ, the profession of judicial officer and the Global Code of enforcement. He traced the close links between the UIHJ and the Hague Conference. Regarding the 1965 Convention, he emphasized its importance and the fact that this text is an inspiration at global level, as evidenced by Regulation (EC) No 1393/2007 of 13 November 2007 on Service of documents in the Member States of the European Union, some of which comes from whole sections of the 1965 Convention. Then the Secretary General of the UIHJ explained the promotion by the UIHJ for the implementation of this convention. He referred to the numerous interventions of The Hague Conference during the events organized by the UIHJ for over fifteen years. Mathieu Chardon stressed the importance for countries to join the Convention. In Africa, judicial officers of the member countries of the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (Ohada) would be able to directly receive documents to be served through Article 10 b). So instead of many months and all the problems linked to the complexity of transmission he stressed out, the documents could be sent, served and returned very quickly - even in one day -. "The 1965 Hague Convention is safe, secure, efficient, and inexpensive," said Mathieu Chardon, indicating that the UIHJ strongly recommended the implementation of the Convention in all countries.

The theme of Panel 2 was:  "The Central Authorities: What's Working and What's Not”. It was chaired by Glenn P. Hendrix, managing partner of Arnall Golden Gregory LLP in Atlanta (USA). The three speakers were Louise Ellen Teitz, Professor of Law at Roger Williams School of Law, Rhode Island (USA), Barbara Fontaine, Senior Master, Queen's Bench Division, Judiciary of England and Wales, Central Authority for England and Wales, and Jeanne E. Davidson, Director of the Commercial Branch of the Civil Division of the US Department of Justice (USA).

Panel 3: "Civilians and Common Lawyers Deal with the Conventions" was chaired by Mark N. Bravin, Global Co-Chair of Winston & Strawn's international arbitration practice (USA). The speakers were Alexander B. Blumrosen, partner with the French law firm Bernard-Hertz-Béjot (France), Roland Portmann, Legal Advisor at the Embassy of Switzerland in the USA, and David W. Bowker, Chair of WilmerHale's international litigation group (USA).

Panel 4 on "What's coming Next? Critical Challenges Facing the Conventions”, was chaired by Christophe Bernasconi. The speakers were Nurzhan Kosbayev, head of Office on expertise of Draft Multilateral Treaties Department of International Law and Cooperation at the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Charles T. Kotuby, partner in Jones Day in Washington DC (USA), Noelle Lenoir, partner with Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP in Paris (France), and Michael M. Baylson, judge at the Eastern District Court of Pennsylvania (USA).

During lunch, Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung, Secretary for Justice of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China described the relations between the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Hague Conference on Private International Law and the latest developments as regards The Hague Conventions in the region.

The quality of interventions and the high level of the debates turned these two anniversaries into one of the highlights of the judicial year.
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Christophe Bernasconi, Secretary General of The Hague Conference on Private International Law
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Patrick P. Stewart, Professor from Practice at the Georgetown Law Center
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William Treanor, Dean of the Georgetown Law Center
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Panel 1, from L. to R.: Mathieu Chardon, Theodore J. Folkman, Peter Trooboff, Alejandro Manevich.
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Panel 2, from L. to R.: Jeanne E. Davidson, Barbara Fontaine, Glenn P. Hendrix, Louise Ellen Teitz
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Rimsky Yuen Kwok-Keung
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Panel 3, From L. to R.: Roland Portmann, David W. Bowker, Mark N. Bravin, Alexander B. Blumrosen
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Panel 4, from L. to R.: Michael M. Baylson, Charles T. Kotuby, Christophe Bernasconi, Noelle Lenoir, Nurzhan Kosbayev
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From L. to R.: Gary Crowe, Sue Collins, Christophe Bernasconi, Mathieu Chardon
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