You read it here first, back in 2013, but at the time with a question mark, and then again in 2014 and 2015. Finally, 2017 is the year it is actually going to happen: Germany is about to change its approach to discovery of documents under the Convention of 18 March 1970 on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters, commonly known as the Hague Evidence Convention. The bill that would remove Germany’s reservation pursuant to Article 23 of the Convention* has been introduced into Parliament. It passed the Upper Chamber (Bundesrat) late last year without any objections. Continue reading
The Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) has held that a court’s failure to avail itself of the tools of international judicial co-operation can amount to a violation of the party’s right to effective judicial protection (Recht auf effektiven Rechtsschutz).
The decision was made in a family law matter, where the existence and validity of an adoption in Romania was in dispute. In the proceedings before the Local Court (Amtsgericht) Frankfurt am Main, the aggrieved party had been unable to produce the underlying Romanian files, but had submitted communication from the respective Romanian authority, that a request from a German court to be granted access to the files would be entertained.
The local court, however, did not attempt to get hold of these files. Its failure to use “institutionalised facilities and measures of judicial assistance”, in particular those offered by the European Evidence Regulation and the European Judicial Network in Civil and Commercial Matters, in the circumstances of the case rendered its decision unconstitutional. Continue reading
Last week, the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law announced that the new editions of the Practical Handbooks on the Operation of the Service Convention and of the Evidence Convention have been published. Continue reading