The Hague Evidence Convention enables U.S. litigants to obtain the testimony of a willing Belgian resident without any special formalities or involvement of foreign courts. Here is the official statement from the U.S. Department of State website about taking voluntary depositions of willing witnesses in Belgium https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal/Judicial-Assistance-Country-Information/Belgium.html:
In civil cases, attorneys from abroad are allowed to depose anyone in Belgium provided that they are willing witnesses and provided that this procedure does not create procedural issues for the requesting party or implicates the legal rights of the requested party. In criminal cases, it is a fairly common practice to take voluntary depositions of witnesses (or often also victims) at a lawyer’s office.
Such requests for an ‘informal deposition’ are acceptable as long as the witness (1) is willing to testify; (2) is not (also) as suspect or accused involved in a related Belgian criminal case or wanted by a third country or prosecuted in a third country; and therefore (3) as long as the deposition has no influence on an ongoing Belgian criminal case.
Always be sure to plan as far in advance as possible. The further you plan ahead, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to locate and book the right court reporter, legal videographer, and/or interpreter for your deposition.
Any questions? Optima Juris is the leading provider of U.S. depositions in Belgium and we are happy to assist you in any way possible. Please feel free to contact us at any time at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our informational quote request page for Belgium at: http://optimajuris.com/court-reporter-belgium/
Ian’s experience and expertise has made him the go-to source for understanding the issues and requirements for successfully arranging depositions outside of the U.S. As a valuable and active member of the international legal community, Ian regularly gives talks to law firms, domestic reporting agencies, and in-house legal departments on how to successfully set up and conduct legal depositions globally.
Ian is here to help! He wants every member of the legal community to achieve success when setting-up a depo in today’s rapidly globalizing world. So don’t be shy: get in touch with him today!