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Last update: 17-08-2004
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Taking of evidence and mode of proof - International law

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If you have to take evidence outside the EU, there are international conventions which may save you time

Often it is not sufficient to have a claim against another party for actually winning your case because the other party contests the facts on which you have based the claim. Therefore it is usually crucial to present evidence to the court to prove your claim. To do so, it may be necessary to take evidence in a country other than the one in which you are resident outside the EU. For example, it may be necessary to hear witnesses in that country.

The Hague Convention on the taking of evidence abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters of 1970 provides for a system for the transmission of requests for the taking of evidence via central authorities designated by each of the contracting parties.

Under this system, requests for the taking of evidence are forwarded by the competent authorities in your Member State of residence to the central authority designated by the State in question, which undertakes to transmit them to the authority competent to execute them. The Convention does not preclude contracting States from permitting methods of taking evidence other than those provided for in the Convention.

Under the arrangements of the Hague Convention, a judicial authority of a Contracting State can request to obtain evidence in another Contracting State. Presently, 41 states are bound by the Convention, among them the Member States of the European Union with the exception of Austria, Belgium, Greece and Ireland.

For EU Member States other than Denmark, the Convention will as of 2004 be replaced by the Regulation of 28 May 2001 on cooperation between the courts of the Member States in the taking of evidence in civil or commercial matters. To find out more, click on the "Community law" icon.

Finally, there are bilateral agreements between Member States and non-EU countries, which are referred to on the pages of the Member States concerned.

Reference documents

  • Hague Convention of 18 March 1970 on the Taking of evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters (Hague Conference)

  • Council Regulation (EC) No 1206/2001 of 28 May 2001 on cooperation between the courts of the Member States in the taking of evidence in civil or commercial matters

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Last update: 17-08-2004

 
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